The first clinical trial in patients with monkeypox of an antiviral drug that could speed their recovery has begun in the UK.

The trial, known as Platinum, will explore whether Tecovirimat may reduce the length of time it takes for skin lesions and ulcers to heal.

While Tecovirimat is already available for monkeypox patients who are in hospital with severe complications from the disease, experts say data is lacking on how effective the drug is.

The trial is being run by the team who led the Recovery trial, which explored possible drugs for acute Covid, and has already begun recruiting patients. The team hopes results may be available before Christmas.

“In a public health emergency the response is not about rushing around dishing out tablets that you think might work because it is seen to be doing something,” said Prof Sir Martin Landray, a joint chief investigator of the trial at the University of Oxford. “It’s about finding out as rapidly as you can, what actually does work, and then responding to the results that you see.”

The researchers hope to recruit about 500 patients who have monkeypox, with participants randomly allocated to receive either a placebo or Tecovirimat, which they will be asked to take twice a day for 14 days.

Participants will also be sent swab kits and asked to complete a daily online questionnaire for 28 days, to help explore the potential impact of the drug.

Prof Lucy Chappell, the chief scientific adviser at the Department of Health and Social Care said: ‘It’s crucial that we invest in developing, refining and evaluating treatments for this disease. We have commissioned this research to show the sense of and seriousness with which the health research community is collectively approaching this issue.”

Post Source Guardian

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