Research into new vaccines, treatments and diagnostics has been designated as one the four pillars in the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Research at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and our Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) is at the heart of the national effort to develop diagnostics and treatments for COVID-19.

We’re publishing regular infographic updates giving an overview of the COVID-19 research taking place at Guy’s and St Thomas’. The infographics also include a focus on particular areas of activity.

infographic showing the COVID-19 research up to September at Guy's and St Thomas'

Guy’s and St Thomas’ continues to be at the heart of the national effort to develop COVID-19 diagnostics and treatments. The Trust is participating in a large number of Urgent Public Health Studies approved by the Chief Medical Officer.

We continue to participate in the national COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials – the second vaccine trial will start in early October with additional trials starting during the autumn.

Successes include:

  • 22 staff recruited to a dedicated COVID-19 research team
  • 18 COVID-19 research studies badged nationally as Urgent Public Health Studies
  • 48 other local COVID-19 research studies are underway

Research restart

In March 2020, we implemented a government mandated pause on non-COVID studies. In summer 2020, our governance team worked with researchers to prioritise studies for restart.

Based on a framework from the Department of Health and Social Care and National Institute for Health Research, studies were assigned a level 1-3, with level 1 being the Urgent Public Health studies opened during the pandemic.

Of the 704 level 2 and 3 studies, 589 (84%) have now re-opened; work is continuing on restarting the rest of the portfolio. In addition, a further 225 new studies are in set up.

  • 545 level 2 & 3 priority non-commercial studies – 479 studies now resumed
  • 159 level 2 & 3 priority commercial studies – 110 studies now resumed
  • 225 new studies now in the process of being set up

Recruitment

During summer 2020, the number of COVID-19 cases reduced and study recruitment slowed.

As of September 2020, a total of 2,241 participants have been recruited into Urgent Public Health studies.

4,318 participants have been recruited into other local COVID-19 studies.

Impact

  • 140 academic publications from COVID-19 studies at the Trust
  • Our research published in Nature Medicine showed that the COVID-19 linked childhood syndrome PIMS-TS is a new disease with its own immune profile. This is the first evidence about the role of the immune system in the disease. It provides vital evidence for future research and will indicate what treatments may help patients with the condition.
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