Camden GPs involved in pioneering Covid treatment trials

University College Hospital in London.

University College Hospital in London. - Credit: PA

Though Covid rates in Camden and the rest of the UK are rocketing, the borough is home to two new clinical trials which could see exciting new treatments for the virus pioneered. 

A team based out of University College Hospital in Euston are working with GPs across Camden to find and monitor participants for trials of potentially life-saving new treatments. 

Both involve an antibody synthesised by pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca being given to patients. One of the trials — called Storm Chaser — sees people who have been exposed to Covid-19, and have not previously been vaccinated, given antibodies before symptoms appear.

Dr Daniel Beck of Swiss Cottage Surgery.

Dr Daniel Beck of Swiss Cottage Surgery. - Credit: Dr Daniel Beck

The second trial — called Provent — aims to give the antibody to high-risk, immuno-suppressed patients for whom the vaccine is not necessarily a safe option. 

Swiss Cottage GP Dr Daniel Beck, chair of the Camden Health Evolution (CHE) federation of GP's practices, said it is the first instance he remembers in which doctors' surgeries have been intimately involved in groundbreaking clinical trials.


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Dr Beck told this newspaper: "With the first trial, time is very much of the essence, and we have access to real-time data on who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive. So, as GPs, we are informing people to contact those they've been with an tell them about the trial as a way of identifying people who might benefit." 

He said the practices are helping to use the information held on vulnerable patients to identify those who would benefit from the Provent trial. Another strand of the help GPs are able to provide focusses on staff, who have been trained to visit trial participants and take swabs and samples at their homes where possible. 

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Dr Beck added: "It's the first time we have been so intimately involved in something like this." 

He said that, like in other areas of the NHS, the pandemic had seen new ways of working collaboratively come to the fore. 

He added: "This work is born out of the collaboration that's been going on throughout Covid. For all the horrors of the pandemic it's brought about some innovation and new ways of working. We are all working together better than ever."

To find out more about the trials and see if you might be an appropriate participant, visit uclhospitals.brc.nihr.ac.uk/storm-chaser

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