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The UKRI and DHSC funded RECOVERY (Randomised Evaluation of COVid-19 thERapY) Trial is led by NDM’s Professor Peter Horby, with deputy director Professor Martin Landray from the Nuffield Department of Population Health.

RECOVERY has been widely recognised as a triumph of delivery and speed: its innovative and adaptive multi-arm trial protocol was drafted on 10th March 2020, before WHO declared the pandemic; and its first patient was recruited on 19th March 2020, four days before lockdown in the UK. RECOVERY was rapidly embedded across the NHS, and it has become the largest randomised control trial looking at potential treatments for treatment in COVID-19 in hospitalised patients worldwide.  The 10,000th patient was recruited on 14th May 2020.

On 9th June 2020, RECOVERY provided the first robust evidence that Hydroxychloroquine was not an effective COVID-19 treatment for active disease. Then on 16th June 2020, it reported that dexamethasone was effective in reducing mortality by up to 35% in patients on supplemental oxygen or ventilated. This was the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in COVID-19 disease. It has been calculated that the implementation of dexamethasone, which is cheap, will directly save 10,000’s of lives worldwide.

In August 2020, it was decided that RECOVERY will be extended as RECOVERY-International, starting with NDM’s OUCRU in Vietnam, and it will remain embedded in the NHS as a vehicle for testing new treatments for respiratory infections over coming years.