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Covid-19 treatment trial for kidney patients goes national

An Addenbrooke’s trial is rolling out to hospitals across the UK to see if a drug used to treat tapeworm can give high-risk kidney patients extra protection against Covid-19.


Dr Rona Smith
Dr Rona Smith

Trials Methodologist, CCTU

Senior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

Consultant Nephrologist, CUH NHS Foundation Trust

The PROTECT-V study has been running since February and now 40 more hospitals will join in to investigate whether niclosamide can reduce the number of people who become seriously ill or die.

If the trial is successful, it may pave the way for a new treatment to prevent or alleviate the impact of Covid-19 in people on dialysis, kidney transplant patients, and those with auto-immune diseases affecting the kidneys, such as vasculitis.

Addenbrooke’s consultant nephrologist and University of Cambridge senior research associate, Dr Rona Smith, is heading the UK study into whether niclosamide can protect people on its own, or in combination with other drugs.

The trial is recruiting at least 1,500 kidney patients across the UK, who will receive either a placebo or niclosamide as a nasal spray, both provided by the manufacturer, UNION therapeutics. Additional promising drugs could be added in the future,

Kidney patients should continue to have the vaccine, as soon as they are offered it. Those who have had a kidney transplant must continue taking their immunosuppressant drugs, despite these making them more susceptible to infection.

Kidney patients who would like to take part in PROTECT-V should speak to their nephrologist in their local centre . More information is available via https://www.camcovidtrials.net/trials/view,protectv_50.htm

The trial, led by the Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Cambridge, is funded by LifeArc, Kidney Research UK, the Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust and UNION therapeutics and is supported by the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre. UNION therapeutics is supplying the drug.

For more information visit: CUH News

Published June 24 2021

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