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Dorking GPs are giving their patients the chance to take part in COVID-19 antiviral treatment trial

GPs from the Dorking Healthcare Federation of practices are giving their patients the opportunity to take part in a first-of-its-kind clinical trial investigating the effectiveness of new oral antiviral treatments for COVID-19 - which can be safely taken at home.

The Platform Adaptive trial of NOvel antiviRals for eArly treatMent of covid-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) trial has been setup to rapidly assess antiviral treatments. The purpose of this clinical trial is to find new treatments that help those suffering with COVID-19 at home and in the community get better quicker and without needing to be treated in hospital. Most people with COVID-19 are treated in the community and so  treatments that are suitable and effective for use early on in the illness need to be found.

People can join the study if they are aged 50 and over, or between 18 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that make them clinically more vulnerable. All participants also need to have had a positive COVID-19 test (either a PCR test or Lateral Flow test) and be within five days of the onset of symptoms.

PANORAMIC has been designed as a ‘platform clinical trial’, meaning it can rapidly evaluate several antiviral treatments, as and when they become available. The UK Antivirals Taskforce has selected all the treatments to be tested. The first COVID-19 antiviral pill in the trial is Molnupiravir.

Dr Tamsin Sevenoaks, Clinical Research Lead for  Dorking Healthcare Federation and GP at Brockwood Medical Practice said:
“The Research Team at Dorking Healthcare Federation is proud to host the PANORAMIC trial. We are delighted to be able to give our patients and people in our local community the opportunity to access innovative new antiviral treatments which have the potential to improve symptoms and reduce hospital admissions for people with COVID-19.

“But the only way we can do this is by members of the public getting involved in the PANORAMIC trial. People can join the trial if they have a positive COVID-19 test, are within five days from the onset of symptoms - and are aged 50 and over, or between 18 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that make them clinically more vulnerable, such as asthma or obesity.

“If you are a patient at any of the Federation’s practices you may be contacted by a member of the Research Team if you are eligible to take part. Alternatively anyone who meets the eligibility criteria can sign-up themselves to take part through the trial website.

“I encourage our patients to read about the trial and consider taking part.”

All participants will take part from their own homes, without needing to visit a clinic or hospital. Participants randomised to the group that receives an antiviral treatment will have their medicines sent directly to their homes by courier. Participants will keep a daily diary for 28 days through the PANORAMIC website or receive a phone call from the trial team on days 7, 14 and 28 to speak about their symptoms and any NHS care they have needed.

To enable the benefit of each treatment to be compared against standard care - over 10,000 volunteers from across the UK are needed to take part in each arm of the study. Half of the participants will be randomly allocated to receive the antiviral treatment plus standard care, while the other half will receive standard care alone.

The results from this national study will provide a clearer understanding on how antivirals work in the UK population - which has a high vaccination rate - enabling the NHS to better plan how to make COVID-19 antivirals available for those who would benefit from them the most.

The NIHR is partnering with the University of Oxford, several other UK universities, GPs and the NHS to help deliver this national priority trial at pace and scale across the United Kingdom.

PANORAMIC is funded by the National Institute for Health Research, led by Oxford University’s Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, while delivery of the trial is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.

For further information, please visit the trial website.