Plans are progressing to recruit the first patients in Cork for a new trial investigating potential treatments for Covid-19.
Last week, the Government confirmed that it had signed an agreement to enable Ireland’s participation in the World Health Organization's Covid-19 Solidarity Trial.
The trial, which is being hosted in Ireland by University College Cork, is investigating a number of potential treatments for the disease including Remdesivir, which was previously tested as an Ebola treatment.
Earlier this week it was widely reported that the US had purchased almost the entire global supply of Remdesivir for the next three months.
Professor Joe Eustace from UCC, who is the lead investigator for the trial here said that despite the limited commercial supply, the study has a separate secure supply of the drug and it is expected the first patient in the trial here will be recruited within days.
The Solidarity Trial has already recruited over 5,000 patients in over 400 hospitals in 35 countries.
Here in Ireland, patients will be recruited from ten hospitals around the country including from Cork University Hospital and the Mercy University Hospital.
"The Solidarity-Ireland Trial is sponsored by the Irish Government; hosted by UCC and coordinated by HRB Clinical Research Coordination Ireland; the 6 main University based Clinical Research Facilities and Centres and their affiliated hospitals are collaborating on this critical trial in order to establish the safety and effectiveness of potential treatments for Irish patients suffering with Covid 19. The trial may allow us to identify treatments that will reduce the severity of the infection, decrease the need for ITU care and reduce the infection’s mortality rate," explained Professor Eustace.
Patients with Covid-19 who are in hospital will be invited to join the trial and while participation is voluntary, it is expected that the majority of eligible patients who are offered the trial are likely to take part.