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Wessex sites trial antibody treatments to protect against COVID-19

Research teams in Wessex have opened two new trials of antibody treatments to protect against COVID-19.

The AstraZeneca trials, known as STORM CHASER and PROVENT, are exploring the effectiveness of antibody treatments in preventing and protecting against COVID-19.

The trials, which will involve more than 1,000 participants across several UK sites, have initially opened to recruitment at the Dorset Research Hub in Bournemouth. Plans are in place to open the trials at the Hampshire Research Hub in Southampton following this. 

Through the use of a monoclonal antibody, the STORM CHASER study hopes to offer immediate protection to people who have recently been exposed to the virus and prevent them developing infection.

Key participant groups for the STORM CHASER trial include healthcare workers, students living in group accommodation, patients exposed to anyone with coronavirus, as well as residents of long-term care facilities and industrial/military settings.

By comparison, the PROVENT trial is looking at the use of the long-acting antibody combination in people who may not respond to vaccination, for example someone who has a compromised immune system. 

In both trials, researchers are assessing whether the treatment reduces the risk of developing COVID-19 and/or reduces the severity of infection compared to placebo.

Volunteers taking part in these latest trials will come through the NHS COVID-19 Vaccine Research Registry, which enables the UK public to support the national effort to speed up COVID-19 research.

The Registry was launched by the UK government in partnership with the NIHR, NHS Digital, the Scottish and Welsh governments and the Northern Ireland Executive earlier this year.

The UK public can receive more information about volunteering for clinical trials by visiting