The UK Government has launched the Accelerating COVID-19 Research & Development (ACCORD) platform to fast-track potential treatments for Covid-19 through the early stages of clinical trials. If they show promise, they will be fed into large-scale studies, such as the University of Oxford’s RECOVERY trial.

The platform itself is to be provided by IQVIA, and the project is being funded by the Department of Health and Social Care and the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). It is also supported by expert advice from the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), as well as academia and industry.

Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Matt Hancock commented: “Currently no drugs in the world have been clinically proven to treat COVID-19. But our Therapeutics Taskforce has identified a number of promising candidates.

“Currently, 6 different treatments have been entered into national clinical trials and the first is ready to enter the next stage: a new early phase clinical trial platform that we are launching today. This is a national effort made possible by government, academia and industry working together.”

The government’s Therapeutics Taskforce will continue to evaluate further therapies to also be included in the project, while industry are able to also suggest other treatments they think should be studied through the platform.

NIHR Covid-19 Research Operations director Dr Jonathan Sheffield said: “ACCORD will transform the way in which the UK’s research community finds treatments for global healthcare challenges such as COVID-19.

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“ACCORD is an exemplary case of government, industry and research organisations working together with urgency, to the benefit of patients and the NHS.”