Professor Martin Landray talks to BBC Radio 4 to mark one year of RECOVERY Trial

Martin Landray to lead new initiative for Wellcome Trust to develop new clinical research guidelines

Image provided by Wellcome Trust

Senior Research Fellow Professor Martin Landray has spoken in a BBC Radio 4 programme to mark one year since the launch of the RECOVERY Trial.

RECOVERY is the world’s largest randomised COVID-19 drug trial, which aims to identify treatments that may be beneficial for patients who are hospitalised with COVID-19.

The trial has established two treatments known to improve survival in COVID-19 patients: dexamethasone and tocilizumab. It has also ruled out four candidate therapies and continues to research other treatments.

RECOVERY is estimated to have so far saved the lives of one million people worldwide.

The trial was devised by Professor Landray and Professor Peter Horby, who both spoke with James Gallagher for Radio 4’s Inside Health: RECOVERY Trial on Tuesday 23 March.

In the interview, Professor Landray recalls how an email to Jeremy Farrar, Head of Wellcome Trust, asking for his thoughts on the role of randomisation as the pandemic evolved, led to him being introduced to Professor Horby.

Just nine days after writing the trial protocol, the first patient had been enrolled in the trial and within 100 days came the first breakthrough.

Professor Landray said: ‘The past year has been nothing short of extraordinary in so many ways.’

In the interview, the Chief Investigators discuss the origins of the trial, the ‘phenomenal’ work of the NHS in helping make RECOVERY happen, the results recorded so far, and the next steps – for RECOVERY and beyond.

‘I think we have to change the way we do trials forever,’ said Professor Landray. ‘I think it would be a travesty if we went back to the situation where it takes months and sometimes even years to get trials off the ground. We got life saving answers within 100 days of writing the protocol. My previous trials haven’t even got started within 100 days. We cannot go back there.’

Listen to Radio 4’s Inside Health: RECOVERY Trial here.

Also spotlighting one year of RECOVERY:

The University of Oxford has published an article called ‘The RECOVERY Trial: One year on’ which features comment from Professor Landray and Professor Horby.

A webinar to mark the one-year anniversary of the RECOVERY Trial will be held on Wednesday 7 April at 09:00. The public are invited to hear from those who made RECOVERY happen, including Professor Landray and Professor Horby, and participate in a Q&A session. Register here.

The Guardian has published an article called ‘Dexamethasone hailed as lifesaver for up to a million COVID patients worldwide’. The piece discusses the results of RECOVERY and notes it has saved the lives of 22,000 people in the UK, according to the NHS.

Created: 24 March 2021

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