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Dr Rona Smith leads Covid trial starting with tapeworm drug

Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is leading a major new trial to discover whether a drug used to treat tapeworms can prevent high risk kidney patients getting Covid-19

Dr Rona Smith
Dr Rona Smith

Trials Methodologist, CCTU

Senior Research Fellow, University of Cambridge

Consultant Nephrologist, CUH NHS Foundation Trust

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

It involves researchers and patients across the UK and if successful may pave the way for treatment to prevent or alleviate the impact of Covid-19 in kidney transplant patients, those on dialysis, and people with kidney-related auto-immune diseases.

In addition the same clinical trial infrastructure– known as the ‘platform’ - will be used to test other agents, helping to treat other patients with Covid.

During the latest trial around 1,500 kidney patients will receive a dummy drug, or niclosamide as a nasal spray in addition to their usual treatment for up to nine months.

Early tests of niclosamide reveal it could stop SARS-CoV-2 multiplying and entering cells of the upper airways.

It has been re-formulated from a tablet into a twice-a-day nasal spray so it can be delivered directly to the lining of the nasal cavity, like a hay fever spray.

For more information visit: CUH News

Published February 24 2021

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