Participants can now join a clinical trial to test antiviral COVID-19 treatments for use early on in the illness. The trial aims to understand which treatments can help clinically vulnerable people recover sooner and prevent the need for hospital treatment.

People can join the study if they are aged 50 and over, aged between 18 to 49 years with underlying health conditions that make them clinically more vulnerable, or have been unwell with COVID-19 for less than five days. All participants should have recorded a positive PCR or lateral flow test within the past seven days.

To find out more, you can visit the PANORAMIC study website or call 08081 560 017.

The Platform Adaptive trial of NOvel antiviRals for eArly treatMent of covid-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) is a national priority trial. Guy’s and St Thomas’ is a site for the trial, run by researchers from the University of Oxford and the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Principle Investigator at the Trust is Dr Anna Goodman, consultant in infectious diseases.

PANORAMIC aims to rapidly evaluate several antiviral treatments over time that could help clinically vulnerable people with COVID-19 recover sooner, prevent the need for hospital admission and so ease the burden on the NHS. The UK Antiviral Taskforce has selected all treatments to be tested – the first treatment to be investigated through the trial will be molnupiravir (brand name, Lagevrio), a COVID-19 antiviral pill already been licensed by the MHRA.

Participants will receive either the anti-viral treatment plus the current standard care, or the current standard of care without the new antiviral treatment. Around 5,300 people will be recruited to each group – up to 10,600 volunteers in total will be needed for testing whether the first novel antiviral in the study reduces the need for people to be admitted to hospital.

PANORAMIC will bring together GP practices, NHS 111, Test and Trace, Care Homes, pharmacies and other NHS and social care service providers UK-wide who will actively identify potential participants, invite them to take part and support their participation.

The trial’s Chief Investigator, Professor Chris Butler, Professor of Primary Care in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, said: “It is early on in the illness, when people are still being cared for in the community, that treatments for COVID-19 could have their greatest benefit. So far, a lot of the research has focussed on finding out if well-known drugs can be repurposed to treat COVID-19.  This new trial will test whether exciting, new antiviral treatments that are more specific to COVID-19 help people in the community recover faster and reduce the need for treatment in hospital.”

The trial will also assess the effectiveness of the treatments on preventing the spread of COVID-19 by offering treatment to some household contacts of participants.

Professor Butler said: “All community health and social care providers will be able to link people with the trial; everyone who is eligible across the UK will be able to join PANORAMIC, and many will be able to do so from their own homes by participating online with support from their GPs and Study Team, with medicines sent directly to them at home.

“It’s vital that as many people as possible who are at higher risk from complications of COVID-19 join the trial so we can rapidly learn if exciting new treatments really do help people get better quicker and reduce pressures on the NHS. The health services will then be able to rapidly get evidence-based treatments out to those sick with COVID and who are at greatest risk of complications.”

Professor Nick Lemoine, Medical Director of the National Institute for Health Research Clinical Research Network (CRN) said: “When taken in the earliest stages of infection, these ground-breaking, purpose-designed COVID-19 antiviral treatments hold the potential to greatly improve outcomes for patients most at risk from the disease.

“Earlier trials have shown these oral new antivirals to be safe and highly effective in treating COVID-19. However more data is needed on how well they work in populations that are largely vaccinated – as we have in the UK. The PANORAMIC trial will rapidly generate the additional evidence needed for the NHS to roll-out this exciting new generation of COVID-19 treatments, as quickly and safely as possible. But to do that, we need your help.

“If you have a PCR-confirmed COVID-19 test, are within five days of symptom onset – and meet the study eligibility criteria – we urge you to volunteer for this pivotal study. Participants take part from the comfort of their own homes and there is no need to visit a clinic or hospital. Visit the PANORAMIC website to sign up, or speak to your GP or healthcare professional about taking part.”

Professor Mahendra Patel, the trial’s Pharmacy and Inclusion and Diversity Lead, said: “PANORAMIC will be working closely with pharmacists and their teams across settings to help play a crucial role in raising the awareness of the trial UK-wide and in supporting greater recruitment of volunteers from disadvantaged and diverse backgrounds.”

PANORAMIC is led by Oxford University’s Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, funded by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), while delivery of the trial is supported by the NIHR Clinical Research Network.