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COVID-19 research update

Vaccine development  

We all know how much a vaccine against COVID-19 is needed. This great article from the Wellcome Trust gives an insight into the stages involved and how the timescales of usual development are being dramatically speeded up to address the urgent need.  Thankfully, initiatives at Imperial College London and Oxford University are leading efforts to develop a vaccine and collaborative partnerships are being struck with pharmaceutical companies to ensure that infrastructure is in place for large-scale production if an effective vaccine is found.    

Anti-viral drug trials 

The anti-viral drug Remdesivir is showing promise in the treatment of COVID-19. The results from the National Institutes of Health trial showed that the drug resulted in a faster time to recovery and a small reduction in death rate.  More trials are needed to fully confirm the data but very recently the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the USA has granted remdesivir emergency use status.  

The anti-viral drug Favipiravir has also shown promise in an early study reducing the time to viral clearance.  Further trials are planned: 

DNA studies 

The store of DNA in the UK Biobank is being used to study why the severity of symptoms for COVID-19 varies so much between affected individuals.  Read more at: 

There are currently 289 worldwide interventional studies on COVID (that is trials that involve a drug or procedure to treat patients) and in total there are more than 1000 active trials of all types ongoing trying to improve the data and our understanding of this new disease.  That is a huge research effort built up in a very short time.  

Research studies you can get involved with  

IMPaCCt Study - investigating the impact of COVID-19 on caregivers and patients

Survey link:

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast and University of Aberdeen are conducting an online international survey to identify the impact that this pandemic has had and continues to have on patients and their carers in families affected by rare diseases.

The results from this survey will be collated anonymously and they hope to provide rapid feedback to clinicians and Immunodeficiency UK about the current needs expressed by patients and caregivers.

COVID App study

Download at covid-19/

You can take part important research to improve the understanding of the spread of infection and its impact on the immunodeficiency community. The App, supported by UKPIN, working with Immunodeficiency UK, is part of a national programme and has been set up is so that information about patients can be collected specifically.

The App can be downloaded from this website: covid-19/. You must register with your postcode and email address.  Please let Immunodeficiency UK know you have registered by sending us an email, with your full name and postcode, so that the relevant information can be pulled together at the later date.


Page updated 18 January 2022