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First UK Participant Enters the Largest COVID-19 Interventional Trial in the World Involving 40,000 Frontline Healthcare Workers

LONDON, May 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, 21 May 2020, the first UK frontline NHS worker will be enrolled as a participant into COPCOV, the largest multi-national interventional clinical study into the prevention of COVID-19 using the investigational medicine, hydroxychloroquine. Enrolment begins today at the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals and at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, the first of 20 UK hospitals to participate in this trial. Over 130 UK frontline healthcare workers have lost their lives from COVID-19[1] and this study will test if hydroxychloroquine/chloroquine can be used to effectively protect our valued frontline medical staff, allowing them to undertake their vital roles more safely. Accord Healthcare, a UK-based medicines manufacturer, has donated over two million tablets to enable this landmark trial to go ahead.

Dr Anthony Grosso, Vice President & Head of Scientific Affairs, Accord Europe & MENA said: "Based on the known pharmacology of hydroxychloroquine, coupled with the emerging knowledge surrounding SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and COVID-19 pathophysiology, we were very keen to test the effectiveness of this molecule in a preventative, rather than late-stage treatment setting. A large-scale, prospective, randomised, double-blind clinical trial in a high-risk setting is the only way to robustly determine if this medicine can lessen or prevent human infection. Previous studies have not adequately tested this hypothesis; the results of COPCOV are therefore of critical importance to public health." 

"Even though lock-down measures appear to have significantly reduced the current rate of infection in the UK, healthcare workers will continue to be at risk of contracting COVID-19, especially as measures are relaxed. Whilst we wait for an effective and widely available vaccine, the race is on to find a well-tolerated preventative treatment. The results from COPCOV are expected later this year and, if they show that hydroxychloroquine can reduce the chances of catching COVID-19, this would be incredibly reassuring for myself and my frontline colleagues," said Professor Martin Llewelyn, Brighton and Sussex Medical School and lead COPCOV UK Investigator.

Dr James Burt, Executive Vice President, Accord Europe & MENA said: "I am extremely proud that Accord is leading the way in making this significant investment towards the fight against COVID-19. In addition to providing scientific input, our teams are working around the clock, in challenging times, to manufacture the required hydroxychloroquine and matching-placebo for this vital study. This is a great demonstration of Accord's mission to help make things better for healthcare professionals on the frontline, patients and society in general."


1.  Deaths amongst UK healthcare workers (to 20 April 2020)

Notes to Editor:

1.  *Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) based in Bangkok, Thailand is leading the COPCOV study. MORU conducts targeted clinical and public health research that aims to discover and develop appropriate, practical, affordable interventions that measurably improve the health of people living in resource-limited parts of the world

2.  COPCOV (Chloroquine/ hydroxychloroquine Prevention of COVID-19) is sponsored by the University of Oxford (UK) and funded by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and the MasterCard Therapeutics Accelerator with two million tablets of the trial medicine (hydroxychloroquine) donated by Accord healthcare.

3.  To learn more about COPCOV, visit

4.  Accord Healthcare Ltd, the principal European subsidiary of Intas Pharmaceuticals, is the largest supplier by volume of generic medicines to the NHS, providing approximately 1 in 5 of all generic medicines to the NHS.

About Accord Healthcare

Accord Healthcare is one of the fastest growing generic pharmaceutical companies in Europe. We have one of the largest market footprints of any European generic company, selling generic medicines in over 80 countries around the world.

This global footprint enables us to deliver vital, affordable medicines worldwide, to the national health systems and patients who need them most. From our manufacturing operations in Harrow, Fawdon and Barnstaple and our distribution centre in Didcot, we supply approximately one in five of the UK's generic medicines.

Our approach is agile and inventive, always seeking to improve our products and patients' access to them. We are driven to think differently and deliver more for the benefit of patients worldwide.

Accord, we make it better


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Last Updated: 21-May-2020