Patients from across the South West Peninsula (Cornwall, Devon and Somerset) are being enrolled into the first clinical trial of potential COVID-19 treatments to take place in GP practices.
The nationally coordinated PRINCIPLE (Platform Randomised trial of Interventions against COVID-19 in older people) trial, led by the University of Oxford, has seen the first participants recruited regionally and many more sites are opening to deliver the trial.
There are currently thirteen General Practices in the region with the site open for recruitment and a further 61 that have expressed an interest to run it.
PRINCIPLE will enable researchers to rapidly evaluate different treatments that could stem the progression of COVID-19 symptoms in older people and help ease the burden on hospitals.
Unlike many other clinical trials for COVID-19, which are mostly focussed on providing treatment to those who already have serious symptoms and are admitted to hospital, the PRINCIPLE trial looks to identify treatments that can be prescribed by community-based GPs to slow or halt the progression of the disease and prevent the need for hospitalisation.
Only those at most risk of complications from COVID-19 will be eligible to join the trial via participating GP surgeries, that’s people aged 50 to 64 with underlying health conditions, or people aged 65 and above.
Mr Will Moyle, Practice Manager at the Teign Estuary Medical Group in Teignmouth, enrolled the first patient participant in the region to the trial within 24 hours of it opening for recruitment. He told Tone News:
“We are very proud to have been the first practice in the South West to recruit and randomise a patient to the PRINCIPLE Trial. Within three hours of sending out the text messages we had our first patient consent via the study website. This has been one of the most straightforward studies the practice has run; and I would highly recommend all practices that have not already expressed an interest to sign up via their local Clinical Research Network (firstname.lastname@example.org)”
Research delivery staff at General Practices from across Cornwall, Devon and Somerset are working together to ensure the trial is set up and available for patients to participate in.
PRINCIPLE aims to recruit over 3,000 people. This number will be increased if additional treatments are introduced and may also be adjusted in light of results that emerge during the course of the trial.