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Clinical platform trials for coronavirus (COVID-19) treatments

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, the COVID-19 Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce closed on 31 March 2023.Find out more about on the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) website.Find out more about on the NHS website.Clinical trials are essential to finding new and improved methods of treating different diseases including coronavirus (COVID-19).Clinical trials allow us to understand whether new treatments:Phase 1 and 2 trials are early-stage trials involving small numbers of participants to ensure a treatment is safe to use and shows evidence of a benefit beyond the standard of care.Treatments that are found to be safe at this stage may then proceed to be tested in a phase 3 clinical trial.Phase 3 trials involve large numbers of patients and assess whether a treatment is effective enough to be used more widely in the NHS.The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) established a single UK-wide process to prioritise COVID-19 research as Urgent Public Health research early in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The purpose was to:The COVID-19 Antivirals and Therapeutics Taskforce worked with NIHR and other partners to horizon scan and monitor national and international developments in COVID-19 antivirals and therapeutics.The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) is continuing to support a series of national clinical trial ‘platforms’ across all phases of human trials and in a range of patient cohorts.

These are assessing several therapeutic and prophylactic candidates, and are supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network across the UK to identify and enrol patients.The trial platforms are co-ordinated in a streamlined manner so that treatments can move through phase 1, 2 and 3 trials.

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