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Middlemore doctor leads COVID-19 treatment trial

Latest News 30 April 2020|A Counties Manukau Health doctor is leading a trial to find possible treatments for COVID-19.

Middlemore clinical microbiologist and infectious diseases physician Dr Susan Morpeth is at the helm of the New Zealand arm of an Australasian study (ASCOT: the Australasian COVID-19 Trial).

ASCOT will test whether medicines are safe and effective for the treatment of COVID-19 among patients admitted to hospital, starting with medicines used to treat HIV (lopinavir/ritonavir) and arthritis and malaria (hydroxychloroquine).

There are 11 hospitals in New Zealand and 70+ Australian hospitals participating in the ASCOT study.

Dr Morpeth says the aim is to see whether using these drugs will prevent patients deteriorating to the point of needing a ventilator, or dying.

A related study, led in New Zealand by Auckland Hospital intensive care specialist Dr Colin McArthur will focus on people with COVID-19 who are admitted to intensive care.

“ASCOT is being designed as a responsive adaptive trial, which means if a drug is proving effective, we can adapt the trial to focus on that treatment. Conversely, if a drug isn’t effective, or is causing severe side effects, we stop it. Ideally, as other potential treatments become available, these can be tested within the ASCOT framework,” Dr Morpeth says.

Posted in Latest news, Covid-19;

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