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Kings College London launches trial investigating the effectiveness of ibuprofen in COVID-19 patients

Published on 03/06/20 at 11:26am
Photo Sarah-Rose/

Kings College London has launched a clinical trial to investigate how effective a formulation of ibuoprofen is in reducing respiratory failure in coronavirus patients.

The LIBERATE trial will be a collaboration between the College, London’s Guy’s & St Thomas’s NHS Foundation Trust and the SEEK group.

Professor Richard Beale, a consultant in intensive care medicine who is leading the trial and Guy’s and St Thomas’, said: “As a new illness, there are limited treatment options for patients with COVID-19. The clinical trial will assess whether this unique formulation of an established drug benefits patients with COVID-19.”

The trial will be randomized with half of the patients receiving standard care and the other half receiving the drug in addition to this care. The drug will only be administered at a very specific stage of the disease in hospitalised pateints with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

It is hoped that the results of this study could lead to coronavirus patients having shorter hospital stays. The NHS had removed ibuprofen as a suggested treatment for mild cases but it was not shown to either improve or worsen symptoms.

Professor Matthew Hotopf, Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Maudsley Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), also commented on the trial: “This highly innovative therapeutic approach seeks to rapidly advance a potentially important new treatment.

“If successful, the global public health value of this trial result would be immense given the low cost and availability of this medicine. The World Health Organisation and European Medicines Agency have highlighted that studies like this are vital in tackling this pandemic.”

Conor Kavanagh

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