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The world’s largest study of community-based treatments for acute COVID-19 has reached a world-first, historic milestone: over twenty thousand participants from across the UK have now taken part in the PANORAMIC trial.

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The world’s largest study of community-based treatments for acute COVID-19 has reached a world-first, historic milestone: over twenty thousand participants from across the UK have now taken part in the PANORAMIC trial. 

This milestone has been achieved in just four months since the trial launched in December 2021. PANORAMIC, which is being carried out by the Primary Care Clinical Trials Unit, an integral part of the University of Oxford's Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, is believed to be the world’s largest study of community-based treatments for acute COVID-19, in addition to the UK’s fastest ever recruiting interventional trial delivered through primary care. 

Led from Oxford University and partnered with the National Institute for Health Research, The Platform Adaptive trial of NOvel antiviRals for eArly treatMent of covid-19 In the Community (PANORAMIC) study is working across all UK communities to evaluate if treatment administered early in the course of the COVID-19 illness can help people aged over 50 and those at higher risk recover faster, without the need for hospital admission.  

The trial is investigating a range of potentially ground-breaking oral antiviral drugs, which can be taken at home by people in at-risk groups (aged 50 or over, or 18-49 with a pre-existing condition), in the early stages of infection. 

Professor Chris Butler, Professor of Primary Care at Oxford University’s Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, and a co-Chief Investigator for the Trial said: We have been humbled by the huge support we have received from so many members of the UK public, who have generously shared their experiences of COVID-19 in the PANORAMIC Trial. The contribution of each and every one is critically important in producing the evidence we need for the NHS to use these promising treatments to their best effect. We also really appreciate those who have joined PANORAMIC staying with us over the longer term so that we can collect data on the effectiveness of the treatments for continuing and relapsing symptoms.”  

Dr William van't Hoff, National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) said: “We are grateful for every single one of the over 20,000 people who have taken part in the PANORAMIC trial to date. Your generous contribution to this remarkable study will provide key evidence in record time for a potentially game-changing class of new COVID-19 treatments. We are also thankful for everyone who has supported the study to date for their help, including our wonderful primary care and research colleagues across all four nations of the UK⁠—GPs, nurses, pharmacists and healthcare professionals who have supported the study amongst so many competing pressures and have worked tirelessly to ensure their patients can benefit from the first trial drug.” 

Professor Mahendra Patel, Pharmacy, Inclusion and Diversity Lead for PANORAMIC said: "Thank you to everyone who has taken part so far. We’ve had people join from across the UK, from all counties and areas, both urban and rural. However, we still need more people to volunteer for PANORAMIC as we want our results to reflect the true diversity of people in the UK. We are especially asking for more people from minority ethnic communities, people living with disabilities or other protected characteristics to volunteer if you’re eligible.” 

PANORAMIC’s sister trial, PRINCIPLE, has also just reached an important milestone, registering their 10,000th patient. PRINCIPLE is working across all UK communities to find out if repurposed medicines help people with COVID-19 symptoms recover quickly, without the need for hospital admission. Whilst the PANORAMIC Trial investigates the effectiveness of new antiviral medications, PRINCIPLE examines the effectiveness of existing medications against COVID-19. Early on in the pandemic, the antibiotics azithromycin and doxycycline were being widely used around the world to treat people with COVID-19 in the community.  

The PRINCIPLE trial rapidly contributed rigorous evidence that these drugs should not be used for this purpose, which has helped change this practice on a considerable scale. Similarly, PRINCIPLE found that an anti-inflammatory drug, colchicine, did not work for COVID either. These findings have helped reduce unnecessary use of antibiotics in the UK and internationally and reduced risk of side effects from ineffective treatments. PRINCIPLE also found that the commonly used asthma drug, inhaled Budesonide, was effective in reducing recovery time by around three days, and that there was a high probability that it also reduced the need for hospital admission.

The PANORAMIC Trial is led by the University of Oxford and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR).  

For further information, visit: www.panoramictrial.org or call 0808 156 0017.

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