Publish date: 26 January 2021

UCLH has recruited the first European participant to a trial looking at treating non-hospitalised Covid-19 patients with the drug remdesivir.

The drug – originally developed for Ebola – has already been approved for use in hospitalised patients with Covid. Research involving UCLH found the drug may shorten recovery time in this group. However it is thought it may have a more effective role if given earlier in the illness, before patients deteriorate to need hospitalisation.

In the Covid-19 Remdesivir Outpatient Study, a team led by Dr Mike Brown, UCLH Consultant in Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, will now see if the drug can reduce rates of hospitalisation and other need for medical care in people with Covid-19 who are not hospitalised but are at risk for disease progression.

The study is being delivered by the Outpatient Parenteral Antimicrobial Therapy Team within the UCLH Hospital for Tropical Diseases and UCLH Infection Division, with help from a team of research nurses from this hospital at Mortimer Market led by UCL Professor Richard Gilson. The study sponsor is Gilead Sciences, Inc.

The drug (or placebo) will be given intravenously over three days – either in a hospital clinic or in the patient’s home. Approximately 1230 participants will take part in the study worldwide.

Dr Brown said: “We are keen to see what difference remdesivir might make early in the illness. We hope to show that use of an antiviral drug such as remdesivir can prevent patients who are older or have other conditions that make them at risk for developing severe disease, from deteriorating to a point where they need hospital treatment.

If you are interested in taking part in this research study, please discuss with your GP or specialist, or contact You may also like to visit our web page: Taking part in research.

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