UK universities launch new Covid-19 drug testing platform

7th July 2020 (Last Updated July 7th, 2020 16:22)

The University of Liverpool's School of Tropical Medicine and Southampton Clinical Trials Unit have launched a Covid-19 drug testing platform called ‘AGILE’.

UK universities launch new Covid-19 drug testing platform
UK universities launch innovative Covid-19 drug testing platform. Credit: University of Liverpool.

The University of Liverpool’s School of Tropical Medicine and Southampton Clinical Trials Unit have launched a Covid-19 drug testing platform called ‘AGILE’.

Partners under the AGILE initiative also include the University of Southampton and Lancaster University.

These UK universities have all collaborated to build the new clinical trial and drug testing platform to evaluate the efficiency of potential therapies for the treatment of Covid-19.

University of Liverpool AGILE Chief Investigator Saye Khoo said: “In the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, we need to find innovative ways to identify safe and effective treatments as soon as possible.

“The AGILE platform bridges the gap between pre-clinical drug discovery and large-scale testing, rapidly identifying drugs that have the best chance of success.”

“Seeing the launch of this new platform to test brand new Covid-19 treatments is truly exciting given the impact that any effective treatment could have on the pandemic and restarting society.”

AGILE is a platform aiming to provide a ‘proof of confidence engine’ to determine the efficacy of potential novel coronavirus therapies that can treat Covid-19 patients.

Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) licensing director Dr Siu Ping Lam said: “Patient safety is our highest priority. We approved this trial, as it not only innovates in the early clinical trial process, which is crucial in the current pandemic, but it is also robust and safe, providing opportunities for more rapid progress towards suitable treatment options.

“We are delighted that such a platform, designed by UK clinicians and scientists, has the potential to change the future of clinical trials and global healthcare for the better.”

In February 2017, the University of Liverpool collaborated with pharmaceutical firm AKL Research and Development to evaluate a new drug ‘APPA’ for the treatment of osteoarthritis (OA).