The RECOVERY trial was launched rapidly in the UK in March 2020 to investigate if any existing treatments were effective against COVID-19. It is open to all patients admitted to NHS hospitals with COVID-19. The trial has already delivered results that have changed clinical care, including the findings that the inexpensive steroid, dexamethasone, and the anti-inflammatory treatment, tocilizumab, significantly reduce the risk of death when given to hospitalised patients with severe COVID-19.
Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health and Joint Chief Investigator for the trial, says, ‘The RECOVERY trial has been an enormous success, enrolling over 37,000 patients and delivering clear results on six treatments already. By building on this success through international partnership we can speed up the assessment of novel treatments, increase the global relevance of the trial results, build capacity, and reduce wasted efforts on small uninformative studies.’
‘It is particularly important to find readily available and affordable treatments for COVID-19 that can be used worldwide. RECOVERY International will help us to identify effective treatments that can be used in less well-resourced settings’ he added.
The expansion of RECOVERY internationally has been made possible thanks to the longstanding work of the Oxford University Clinical Research Unit (OUCRU), which has campuses in Kathmandu in Nepal (OUCRU Nepal) and Jakarta in Indonesia (Eijkman-Oxford Clinical Research Unit, EOCRU). In Indonesia and Nepal, the trial will initially focus on the treatments aspirin and colchicine, since these are readily available and affordable but, like RECOVERY in the UK, the trial is adaptive and new drugs will be added over time.