Read our latest advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)


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National priority coronavirus (COVID-19) research

In order to make sure of the rapid delivery of coronavirus (COVID-19) clinical trials and research studies, a new national approval structure has been introduced. This national approvals group provides urgent public health badging of clinical trials and research studies and subsequent approval by the chief medical officer.

Patients receiving treatment within our COVID-19 wards and our intensive care unit, and their families, may be approached about taking part in national priority COVID-19 studies.

Finding vaccines to prevent COVID-19 is likely to be the best way to prevent this disease. We are actively involved in work to find a vaccine and are recruiting to vaccine trials listed below.

You can help support COVID-19 vaccine research by signing up to be contacted about opportunities to take part in vaccine research studies through the NHS and NIHR national registry.

Our research

The following studies are now open within the Trust

  • Vaccine studies

    NOVAVAX - A trial to evaluate SARS-CoV-2 Recombinant Nanoparticle vaccine

    The aim of this study is to show the efficacy of SARS-CoV-2 rS with Matrix-M1 adjuvant in the prevention of virologically-confirmed symptomatic COVID-19, when given as a two-dose vaccination regimen, as compared to placebo, in serologically negative adults.

    To register your interest in this trial and other vaccine studies, please visit the NHS and NIHR national registry.

    COV002

    There are currently no licensed vaccines or specific treatments for COVID-19. The COV002 study will allow us to assess how well people of all ages can be protected from COVID-19 with this new vaccine called ChAdOx1 nCoV-19. It will also give us useful information on safety aspects of the vaccine and its ability to produce good immune responses against the virus. We will enrol small numbers of older adults (56-70 years, then 70+ years) before expanding to large numbers of adults across all ages (18+ years). After this, we will also assess the vaccine in a small group of children (5-12 years). In total we will enrol up to 5,260 volunteers.

  • Understanding COVID-19

    GenOMICC

    Our genes determine how likely we are to get life-threatening infections, and when a patient is already sick, different genetic factors determine how likely they are to survive. The GenOMICC (genetics of susceptibility and mortality in critical care) study will identify the specific genes that cause some people to be more likely to get particular infections and more likely to end up being severely ill.

    Identifying these genes may help us to use existing treatments better, and to design new treatments to help people survive serious illness. To do this, we will compare cells and DNA (the genetic code that determines all of a person's characteristics found in the cell nucleus) from carefully selected patients with those from healthy people. The study, which started in 2016, will include COVID-19 patients.

    ISARIC-4C

    There is an urgent need to conduct coordinated clinical research in the early phase of this dynamic development to know more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and to provide an evidence base to inform treatment decisions and an effective public health response. The Clinical Characterisation Protocol for Severe Emerging Infection (ISARIC-4C) study is designed for the rapid, coordinated clinical investigation of patients with confirmed novel coronavirus infection. The study has been designed to maximize the likelihood that as much data as possible is collected and shared rapidly in a format that can be easily aggregated, tabulated and analysed across many different settings globally. The study is designed to have some level of flexibility in order to ensure the widest acceptance.

    Post-hospitalisation COVID-19 study: a national consortium to understand and improve long-term health outcomes (PHOSP-COVID)

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on the UK's health, social care and economy. The long-term sequelae of COVID-19 after discharge from hospital in both those with and without comorbidities are unknown. A comprehensive patient-centred holistic study is required to determine the chronic health and health economic sequelae of COVID-19 infection in post-hospitalisation survivors. This will define demographic, clinical and molecular biomarkers of the susceptibility and inform our understanding of the impact of interventions during the acute illness.

    These insights will guide consequent in-depth studies to inform precision medicine in at risk groups by directing new clinical trials and care for current and future post-COVID-19 patients. This study has been approved as part of the NIHR urgent public health review. The study shall recruit individuals post-hospitalisation with a COVID-19 discharge diagnosis to study the short (0-3 months), medium (3-6 months) and long (6-12 months) effects of the disease.

    The study will analyse routine clinical data with linkage to retrospective and prospective health and social care records (tier 1), enhanced clinical data and research-specific biosampling (tier 2) and re-call of participants by genotype and phenotype for more detailed studies (tier 3). Tier 2 participants for whom further clinical assessments are recommended may also be asked to provide additional samples and data (tier 2 research) and will have their records extracted from those time-points.

    The study will recruit 10,000 individuals with a minimum of 4,000 in tier 2. The study will continue to link to participants clinical data for at least 25 years or until the patient has deceased or withdrawn consent. The clinical study is underpinned by world-leading Universities, NIHR infrastructure eg BRCs, TRCs, CRFs and ARCs and the NHS. The study will take place in state-of-the-art facilities within our world-leading academic institutions and hospitals within the UK.

  • Testing new treatments

    ACCORD

    The ACCORD clinical trials program brings together expertise of the Southampton National Institute for Health Research Biomedical Research Centre (NIHR BRC), NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases, NIHR Respiratory Translational Research Collaboration, NIHR Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, pharmaceutical companies, IQVIA and the NIHR Clinical Research Facility (CRF) network to enable the rapid development, conduct and reporting of clinical trials of candidate agents for the treatment of COVID-19. There are currently no approved therapeutic agents available to treat coronaviruses such as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV2), the causative agent of COVID-19 disease, and there is an urgent public health need for rapid development of such interventions.

    This adaptive platform study is designed to rapidly assess multiple candidate agents as treatments for COVID-19. The master protocol outlines the overall structure of the study, including the population, inclusion and exclusion criteria, randomisation scheme, primary, secondary, and exploratory outcomes, study design, statistical methodology, and planned analyses that are common for all candidate agents to be tested. The master protocol is structured such that multiple candidate agents from different pharmaceutical companies can be evaluated simultaneously.

    The plan is to add candidate agents as they are identified, and to remove therapies once they have completed their evaluation. The sub-protocols will outline the scientific rationale, eligibility, treatment schema, and other specifics for each candidate agent. Study centres will be located in the United Kingdom. Overall, it is estimated that approximately 12 centres and investigators will initially take part in the study. It is estimated that up to 1,800 patients will participate in the overall study.

    ACTT

    There are no approved treatments or vaccines, and hence there is an urgent need to assess the efficacy/safety of antivirals and other therapeutics to treat coronavirus (COVID-19). The Multicenter, Adaptive, Randomized Blinded Controlled Trial of the Safety and Efficacy of Investigational Therapeutics for the Treatment of COVID-19 in Hospitalized Adults (INSIGHT-10), is a double-blind placebo-controlled trial, of the anti-viral, remdesivir, for the coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment in hospitalised adults. This randomised control trial is testing whether a daily intravenous infusion of remdesivir (active drug) compared to N-saline placebo, provides clinical benefit, and is safe.

    ILIAD-7

    The ILIAD-7 study's goal is to successfully trial CYT107 on COVID-19 patients as part of a global effort to treat the disease. IL-7 (CYT107) may prevent patients who are in the hospital for COVID-19 from progressing to having to be treated in the ICU. A Phase II randomized clinical trial is in the process of regulatory submission, building upon the prior and ongoing clinical trials of CYT107.

    REALIST

    The REALIST trial is a trial of mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) for acute respiratory failure.

    RECOVERY

    RECOVERY is a randomised trial among adults hospitalised for confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19). Eligible patients are randomly allocated between several treatment arms, each to be given in addition to the usual standard of care in the participating hospital: no additional treatment vs Lopinavir-Ritonavir vs Interferon β1b vs low-dose corticosteroids. For patients for whom not all the trial arms are appropriate or at locations where not all are available, randomisation will be between fewer arms.

    The main outcomes will be in-hospital death, discharge, and need for ventilation. For the main analyses, follow-up will be censored at 28 days after admission. Additional information on longer term outcomes may be collected through review of medical records or linkage to medical databases such as those managed by NHS Digital and equivalent organisations in the devolved nations.

    REMAP-CAP

    REMAP-CAP is an international platform trial that has been specifically designed for a pandemic period. The aim is to generate evidence that can be applied during the pandemic to reduce mortality, reduce intensive care use, and reduce morbidity in severely ill patients with coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. The platform will test multiple treatments at the same time (antivirals, immune modulation drugs and corticosteroids) and more treatments will be added as new evidence emerges. If a treatment is beneficial, more patients will be treated with that drug within the trial, improving outcomes and reducing ICU stays, even before the results are declared and the trial ends. It provides a type of self-learning healthcare system, which is important in this fast-moving pandemic.

    TACTIC-R

    While there are no current vaccines, prophylactic or therapeutic agents of proven efficacy for treating COVID-19, several medications licensed for patients with autoimmune disease can be used to prevent overactivation of the immune response in severe COVID-related disease. TACTIC is recruiting patients at an early stage in the disease course, aiming for a time point where the patient is experiencing infective symptoms and starting to show pulmonary complications. The purpose is to prevent organ damage and reduce the need to transfer to ICU and ventilation. The trial has two treatment arms and a comparator arm using the following drugs: baricitinib and ravulizumab.

    TACTIC trial aims to currently randomise COVID-19 positive patients into three arms, two active and one comparator. Arm one and two consists of baricitinib and ravulizumab respectively. Arm three consists of standard of care alone. Subjects are treated with their assigned regime during 14 days. Depending on the drug regimen they are assigned to, patients will either have 14-day dosing (baricitinib) or a single dose (ravulizumab). After the treatment phase, patients will have a 28-day and three-month follow up. Patients will undergo blood testing as part of the routine care, and data relevant for the study will be taken from medical records whenever possible. Arms may be added or stopped depending on data and a recommendation from the independent data monitoring committee. The aim of this trial is to reduce the number of COVID-19 patients that will be admitted to ICU. Candidates: ravulizumab, baricitinib.

  • Children and pregnant women

    Coronavirus infection in immunosuppressed children

    The coronavirus infection in immunosuppressed children study is designed to allow families of immunosuppressed children and young people to self-record their experiences of coronavirus (COVID-19) and other viral respiratory illnesses during the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. Parents of immunosuppressed patients, and young people aged 16-17 years who are immunosuppressed, will be provided with online information and asked to fill in online questionnaires at baseline and weekly thereafter.

    Information collected will include immune system affecting medication, symptoms, contact with health care providers, test results and impact on daily activities. Data will be collected and analysed weekly to be able to monitor any potential risk factors for severe disease. This study is complementary to, and not overlapping with, the global ISARIC World Health Organisation protocol that will be studying coronavirus (COVID-19) cases admitted to all NHS Trusts, including all children.

    Neonatal complications of coronavirus disease

    So far we have very little information about how COVID-19 affects mothers and newborn babies and it is not clear how best to care for mothers and babies affected. We have very little information about how babies get COVID-19, whether it transmits from mothers to their baby(s) while they are still pregnant, during labour and birth, or whether the infection occurs following birth. Understanding this will mean that we can give the best care to mothers and babies and the best advice to pregnant women about the effects of COVID-19 on their baby.

    This study will collect information about newborn babies who have COVID-19 or who are born to mothers who have Coronavirus. The information we collect will help us to understand:

    • how babies get COVID-19
    • what happens to babies when their mother has COVID-19
    • What treatments are effective in helping babies with COVID-19 to get better
    • What happens to babies when they have been treated.

    We are carrying out the study through the British Paediatric Surveillance Unit (BPSU) system. Each week, every doctor across the UK looking after newborn babies in hospital will be asked by the BPSU if they have looked after a newborn baby with COVID-19 or whose mother has COVID-19. If they have, they will be sent a questionnaire to collect information about the baby and their mother. As this information about all affected babies is urgently needed, we will not be asking parents for consent to include their baby's information in the study, although parents will be able to opt out.

    PAN-COVID

    The COVID-19 outbreak will affect thousands of pregnant women globally and evidence is currently limited on its impact on pregnancy and neonates.

    There is a need to rapidly collect clinical experience of COVID-19 in pregnancy and the neonates to inform the global community about the natural history of the disease and guide improvements in clinical care and public health. The PAN-COVID registry is centre-based and aims to offer a continuously updated collection of clinical case reports from around the world.

    Our research questions are to explore the experience of COVID-19 and:

    • miscarriage
    • fetal growth restriction and stillbirth
    • pre-term delivery
    • transmission from mother to baby.

    Modelling and opinion on the extent and peak of the outbreak suggests a broad time period over which the virus may impact on global populations. Our proposed registry will provide weekly feedback of data to the clinical community and will allow them to adapt their response based on the most the current information available.

    UKOSS

    This NIHR supported study is a national study of women hospitalised with confirmed COVID-19 in pregnancy. The study, funded by the NIHR, will use the UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) to collect information about all pregnant women admitted to hospital who are confirmed to have the virus infection. The information will be analysed on a continuous basis to inform ongoing guidance for women and maternity staff as we respond to the pandemic. More specifically, the study will describe incidence, management and outcomes of COVID-19 in pregnancy and identify factors associated with better outcomes for women and their babies.

    Anonymous information will be collected through the existing UK Obstetric Surveillance System (UKOSS) reporters, who are based in all maternity units in the UK. Reporters have been sent a live link to allow them to notify cases and complete an anonymous data collection form.

  • Diagnosing COVID-19

    DIAMONDS

    The overall aim of DIAMONDS is to design new diagnostic tests that can tell quickly and accurately what illness a patient has when they come to hospital with common symptoms, such as a fever. This would help the right treatment to be given to the right patient, at the right time. This is called 'personalised medicine'. The diagnostic device is called 'personalised medicine signature device' (PMSD).

    There are four parts to DIAMONDS:

    1. DIAMONDS Search, whose aim is to find RNA signatures in blood from patients with infectious and/or inflammatory conditions.
    2. Establishment of the European Diagnostic Transciptomic Library to enable analysis of molecular taxonomy of infectious and inflammatory disease which will be used as the basis for personalised diagnosis.
    3. Development and configuration of devices to rapidly detect gene transcripts required for PMSD and evaluation on improved patient diagnosis and treatment.
    4. Evaluation of performance of diagnostic devices in prospective recruitment of patients and controls in the DIAMONDS Pilot Demonstration. The impact of the implementation of the devices will be also evaluated.

    PRIEST

    The PRIEST study aims to optimise the triage of people using the emergency care system (111 and 999 calls, ambulance conveyance, or hospital emergency department) with suspected respiratory infections during a pandemic and identify the most accurate triage method for predicting severe illness among patients attending the emergency department with suspected respiratory infection.

    The project's specific objectives during the pandemic are:

    • to undertake continuous monitoring of the performance of the emergency care triage method (or methods) used for suspected respiratory infections during a pandemic
    • to identify clinical characteristics and routine tests associated with under-triage (false negative assessment) or over-triage (false positive assessment) during a pandemic
    • to determine the discriminant value of alternative triage methods for predicting severe illness in patients presenting with suspected respiratory infection during a pandemic
    • to inform policy makers and practitioners during a pandemic of the study's emerging findings.
    • The project's specific objectives after the pandemic are:
    • to determine the discriminant value of emergency department triage methods for predicting severe illness in patients presenting with suspected pandemic respiratory infection
    • to determine the discriminant value of presenting clinical characteristics and routine tests for identifying severe illness
    • to determine the independent predictive value of presenting clinical characteristics and routine tests for severe illness
    • to develop new triage methods based upon presenting clinical characteristics alone or presenting clinical characteristics, electrocardiogram (ECG), chest X-ray and routine blood test results, depending upon the data available and the predictive value of variables evaluated in objective.