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COVID-19 treatment Paxlovid investigated through PANORAMIC study

A new COVID-19 antiviral treatment is being trialled among vulnerable groups as part of the PANORAMIC study, supported by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR).

Paxlovid has reduced death or hospitalisation by 88% in trials of unvaccinated patients and will now be tested to see if it can help recovery when taken in the early stages of infection.

More than 23,900 patients have enrolled in the first phase of the nationwide trial, testing antiviral drug molnupiravir.

Antivirals treat people already infected with a virus or protect others from becoming infected. Whilst vaccines remain the most important first line of defence, antivirals target the virus at an early stage to prevent progression to severe symptoms.

The introduction of Paxlovid will allow many more patients to join the study, with half being offered the drug and half the placebo, or dummy drug.

It is already being rolled out outside of PANORAMIC to those at highest risk who test positive for the virus through the NHS.

The study is open to adults over 50 or 18 to 49 with an underlying health condition, who have received a positive test result and who are experiencing symptoms that started in the previous five days.

Professor Chris Butler, Chief Investigator, University of Oxford said:  “It is early on in the illness, when people are still being cared for in the community, that treatments for COVID-19 could have their greatest benefit. It is critically important that new treatments are tested in people and in the situation where they are intended to be used; joining the PANORAMIC trial will help ensure people with COVID-19, and indeed the NHS, get the maximum benefit from these precious treatments.”

Read more on the NIHR website.