Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) insights with Dr Ashley Price


An international trial which recruited patients in NuTH shows improved recovery rate.

Results announced last week have shown that patients given the Ebola drug Remdesivir in the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT) trial were found to have a recovery rate that was nearly a third faster than those given placebo. An article from the BBC news website is available here.

The trial involved more than 70 hospitals across the world, working together to assess this potential treatment for COVID-19. Forty-six patients in the UK participated in the European arm of the study, including patients from Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals Foundation Trust (@NewcastleHospitals).

Dr Ashley Price, Principal Investigator for the @NewcastleHospitals site has spoken of the amazing collaborative effort in setting up and running the trial, especially given the challenges of conducting quality research in such an unprecedented situation.

“Preparation was key to the delivery of this trial. This is something that has happened over a number of years and has given not just Newcastle but the whole of the UK the ability to understand the crucial role of research during a pandemic.”

Dr Price said, “It’s a huge achievement on both a National and International Level to be able to conduct a trial of this quality in the middle of a global pandemic. A randomised, double blind study is the best quality research we can conduct and undertaking this during these circumstances is a fantastic achievement.”

Dr Price went on to pay tribute to the impressive joint effort by the research and development team, research nurses, study co-ordinators, principal and sub investigators in setting up and delivering the research. Stating that the team’s ability to come together this way was due to good preparation including lessons learned from the 2009 swine flu pandemic.  

“Preparation was key to the delivery of this trial. This is something that has happened over a number of years and has given not just Newcastle but the whole of the UK the ability to understand the crucial role of research during a pandemic.”

Dr Price was keen to note that while these results are encouraging, the full results are not yet released and there is still much work to be done before the drug can be made available to those who need it most. The next step will be discovering which patients will see the most benefits from the drug and this may require further study.

Congratulations to the NuTH COVID-19 research team on their contribution to this important trial and for giving @NewcastleHospitals the opportunity to participate in practice-changing clinical research.