A new clinical trial for a potential new treatment for Covid has been launched in Scotland.
The antiviral drug, favipiravir, has already shown promise in the early treatment of Covid-19 in China and Japan and is now to undergo trials in Glasgow.
Favipiravir can be taken at home when patients are in the early stages of disease as well as by hospitalised patients.
Researchers are now looking for more than 300 patients with COVID-19 to join the new research study into the effectiveness of the drug.
The trial will target early treatment of the virus for those who test positive and must be taken within four days of a COVID-19 swab test.
The treatment is intended for people with milder symptoms.
The ground-breaking research is a collaboration between NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and the University of Glasgow, funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government.
The study, Glasgow Early Treatment Arm Favipiravir (GETAFIX), will assess the effectiveness of the drug to help with symptoms and reduce the time it takes to recover from COVID-19.
Favipiravir is developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemicals in Japan and an early study on its effectiveness has shown it to alleviate some symptoms.
Three hospitals are taking part – Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Royal Alexandra Hospital. Patients may receive treatment in hospital or as outpatients.
The antiviral treatment is taken in tablet form. Half the patients will receive the drug twice a day for 10 days alongside standard treatment, with the other half receiving standard treatment for comparison.
The study is organised by the Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit in Glasgow and supported by the Glasgow Clinical Research Facility.
Prof Rob Jones, Director of the CRUK Clinical Trials Unit, Glasgow, and Chief Investigator of the study commented: “COVID-19 was a disease few of us had even heard of before the spring.
“Although hopes are high ongoing vaccine trials will help prevent infection, this trial aims to improve current treatment…