In partnership with Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and our community of partners and supporters, we are urgently trying to raise £2 million to fund research including the PIONEER study which aims to prevent patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 from becoming seriously ill.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has been providing care for a major influx of patients affected by the virus, while at the same time operating at the forefront of local and national efforts to combat the pandemic.

As part of this, the Trust is playing a central role by identifying new treatment options for those COVID-19 patients, including those suffering from mild to moderate symptoms of the virus.

To support this effort, CW+ is now looking to raise £2 million to deliver the PIONEER study, which aims to prevent such patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms from developing severe disease and needing intensive and lengthy hospital support. If successful, the PIONEER study could not only save lives, but could also ease the huge additional burden that the outbreak has placed on the NHS and its staff, and help provide a valuable tool in supporting the move away from the current national lockdown.

Led by an expert team at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Imperial College and the Royal Brompton Hospital, the PIONEER study will examine use of medications that have already proven efficacious and safe in the treatment of other diseases including:

  • The antiviral drug Favipirivir, which has been identified and trialled in Japan and other countries as a potentially beneficial COVID-19 therapy
  • A combination of antimalarial and anti-inflammatory drug hydroxychloroquine; azithromycin, an antibiotic used in respiratory infections; and zinc, which is known to support the immune system
  • Our current standard medication and monitoring approach and how this compares with the new potential drug therapies

The University of Leuven Teaching Hospital, Belgium, which has already conducted research on Favipirivir and its potential role in treating a Coronavirus epidemic, is also joining the study and recruiting patients as an international partner.

Recruitment for the study is starting imminently, with staff ready to assess patients who comply with the trial criteria when they come to our hospitals. In the last two weeks, generous donors have committed more than half the funding required to proceed with the PIONEER programme which, if successful, will both advance the national research strategy and provide us with a transformative new approach to treating COVID-19 patients.

Click here if you would like to to make a donation and support this vital work.

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