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Roche looking for new place to test COVID-19 pill

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SWISS drug maker, Roche, says it is looking for another location to carry out clinical trials of its anti-COVID-19 pills.
The elite pharmaceutical giant stated this yesterday while disclosing that plummeting case toll in Britain makes it difficult to find enough patients for its study.


According to Head of Roche’s pharmaceutical division, Bill Anderson, with the receding cycle of infection, it is increasingly difficult to find willing people to test run the pills.


“Britain’s success in reducing case numbers with a swift vaccination programme and strict lockdown meant it was taking longer than expected to collect data from the trial there. There’s just simply not enough patients to enroll, with the speed we were hoping for. That’s been one of the challenges since the beginning of the pandemic, you set up sites where there’s a lot of COVID, and then by the time you’re ready to enrol, the pandemic has moved somewhere else and you’re sort of chasing it,” Anderson said.


However, he did not identify other locations where Roche might set up trials.
But Roche’s Boston, United States-based partner, Atea Pharmaceuticals hope their AT-527 pill could offer an anti-viral therapy to treat COVID-19 patients that would be easier to administer and cheaper than other prospective treatments.
It will be recalled that Roche is conducting trials of the medicine in patients with mild to moderate COVID-19, apart from separately experimenting the medicine in hospitals among patients with more severe cases.

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