Leicester BRC and the Leicester Clinical Research Facility are playing a central role in the fight against COVID-19.
As part of the Leicester NOVA Alliance – a group of researchers, delivery and governance staff from Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester – we are channelling our respiratory expertise, resources and facilities into action for the benefit of patients with COVID-19. This is led by our respiratory theme lead, Professor Chris Brightling, and Martin Wiselka, professor of infectious diseases, who is affiliated with our clinical research facility.
Through our national and international networks, we are contributing to new knowledge on the progression of the coronavirus so that we can better inform on treatment decisions and the wider public health response.
National prioritisation process
There is a national process for the prioritisation and approval of all COVID-19 research. You can find further details on this process on the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) website.
Finding treatments for COVID-19
We are actively involved in the ISARIC study, RECOVERY trial, RECOVERY-RS trial, REMAP-CAP, and STOP-COVID. More information on the current COVID-19 trials taking place in Leicester is available online here.
We are involved in studies with the aim of protecting the welfare of healthcare staff including SIREN and NHS CHECK. You can find out more about these studies here.
It has become clear that members of Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities are at increased risk from COVID-19. Leicester researchers are active in investigating this and have been published in the Lancet, Guardian and BBC. We are working closely with partners in the Centre for BME Health, CRN East Midlands, and ARC East Midlands to better understand this pressing research question and studies such as EXCEED have shifted focus to address this.
Leicester BRC is leading the £8.5million PHOSP-COVID study, involving a consortium of researchers and clinicians from across the UK working together to understand and improve the long-term health outcomes for patients who have been in hospital with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
Epidemiology of COVID-19
Leicester BRC is part of the HDRUK BREATHE research hub, which is building data sets and analysis for respiratory illnesses across the UK. This important resource will now also be supporting the detailed analysis of data collected from the COVID-19 App developed by our colleagues at Kings College London and Guys and St Thomas’ BRC. The App is collecting data from 2 million users who are regularly reporting their symptoms.
Guidance for researchers
The joint research office of Leicester’s Hospitals and the University of Leicester has a regularly updated web page on the latest guidance for researchers on all local clinical research processes. You can access that information here.
The NIHR has also published a framework for restarting NIHR research activities which have been paused due to COVID-19. You can access the guidance here.