Researchers are seeking up to 400 care homes to take part in a trial to develop drugs that prevent COVID-19.
Led by the University of Nottingham, the Prophylactic Therapy in Care Homes Trial (PROTECT) trial will test drugs already in line to treat COVID-19 for their efficacy in preventing illness caused by the COVID virus.
Researchers are focussing on care home residents due to their higher risk from COVID-19, and doubts over the effectiveness of vaccines in this group. The aim is to reduce the number and severity of COVID-19 in those homes.
The £1.7m trial will randomise care homes (rather than individual residents) to receive one of up to three drugs or no additional treatment, in a cluster randomised controlled design.
This design allows several drugs to be tested in parallel and for new drugs to be added once older ones have been shown to be beneficial or have no useful effect. Treatment will be given alongside the ongoing vaccination programme.
Experts from the Universities of Edinburgh, Cambridge, Surrey and Warwick and University College London are also supporting the study, which the government is backing through the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).
Read more on the NIHR Funding and Awards website.