The Society’s President, Professor Sir Munir Pirmohamed, will join a new independent group to advise on promising new treatments for COVID-19, the government has announced.
The UK COVID-19 Therapeutics Advisory Panel (UK-CTAP) will identify candidate therapeutics for phase II trials, advising the Chief Investigators of RECOVERY+ on which treatments should progress through development. RECOVERY+ expands on the original RECOVERY platform following successes such as the identification of dexamethasone as a treatment for COVID-19. The expanded platform will include phase II trials in addition to phase III trials. Expert advice from UK-CTAP will help identify the most promising candidates for inclusion in this national approach, and this, combined with efforts by Chief Medical Officers and NHSE to build on patient engagement with research, will be an important step forwards in streamlining the UK’s therapeutic strategy for COVID-19.
Sir Munir, an expert in clinical pharmacology and experimental medicine, is joined on UK-CTAP by Society members Professor Duncan Richards and Professor Ian Hall. Professor Richards is a clinical pharmacologist based in Oxford who, through his previous role at GSK, has extensive experience of early phase trials and clinical development. Professor Hall is a clinical pharmacologist based at the University of Nottingham who is also a respiratory medicine specialist. The advisory group, chaired by Professor Patrick Chinnery, also captures expertise in inflammation research and intensive care medicine.
The Society has advocated for the importance of including clinical pharmacology principles in research to support safe translation of promising treatments from research to clinical practice. Expert clinical pharmacology advice through UK-CTAP will help the UK use these principles and make better decisions about which candidates to back.