Midlands innovation in the fight on coronavirus

by Gareth Roberts

Midlands innovation in the fight on coronavirus

by Gareth Roberts

by Gareth Roberts

Organisations from the Midlands Innovation partnership are taking part in a series of ventures to help in the fight against COVID-19.

Conducting rapid testing trials

A major drugs trial is now open in Birmingham to rapidly test new therapies for hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Using licensed and novel drugs that target the most serious symptoms, CATALYST aims to reduce the severity of the disease, lower patient admissions to intensive care and, ultimately, decrease virus-related deaths

Recruiting to national clinical trials

Thousands of patients in the Midlands, who have been admitted to hospital with COVID-19, have been recruited to national clinical trials. Some of the trials that NHS Trusts in the Midlands have recruited patients into include:

    • Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy (RECOVERY),
    • International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC),
    • Pandemic Respiratory Infection Emergency System Triage (PRIEST),
    • Genetics of susceptibility and mortality in critical care (GenOMICC),
    • Pandemic Influenza in Pregnancy (UKOSS),
    • SARS-COV-2 Infection – Synairgen Trial (SNG001),
    • Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial, Adaptive platform trial for Community Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) and
    • Accelerating COVID-19 Research & Development phase II clinical platform trial (ACCORD).


Increasing testing capacity

MIH and MHA partners across the region have dedicated expertise, equipment and resources to help increase regional testing capacity and improve test performance.

Using nationally recognised strengths in health data, digital space and design

Taking advantage of existing regional programmes, including the Midlands HDRUK Substantive site and Digital Innovation Hubs, MIH and MHA partners are delivering innovation in COVID-19 data modelling, PPE design, use of clinical space, societal behaviour analysis and clinical advice.

The HDRUK Hub Pioneer, in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and UCL, has established DECOVID to analyse health data to address urgent questions defined by clinical staff. This will produce rapid insights to support proactive patient management during the pandemic.

Driving forward innovative processes and removing supply chain barriers

Drawing on our world-leading production expertise, facilities and laboratories, MIH partners have been involved in the development of new ventilators, rapid production of new PPE and reagents, and testing of technologies.

Contributing to the international research effort

Using well-established global research links, local research expertise and an in-depth understanding of the Midlands ethnically diverse population, leading facilities (such as Leicester’s Centre for BME Health and Warwick’s NIHR Global Research Unit on Improving Health) are working together with national and international partners and policymakers around COVID-19 to ensure the impact upon the global population is fully understood.

Useful Links:
https://midlandsinnovation.org.uk/Press-Releases-2020/the-midlands-mobilises-research excellence-to-tackle-covid-19