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INTRODUCTION: Severe SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated with a dysregulated immune response. Inflammatory monocytes and macrophages are crucial, promoting injurious, proinflammatory sequelae. Immunomodulation is, therefore, an attractive therapeutic strategy and we sought to test licensed and novel candidate drugs. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: The CATALYST trial is a multiarm, open-label, multicentre, phase II platform trial designed to identify candidate novel treatments to improve outcomes of patients hospitalised with COVID-19 compared with usual care. Treatments with evidence of biomarker improvements will be put forward for larger-scale testing by current national phase III platform trials. Hospitalised patients >16 years with a clinical picture strongly suggestive of SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia (confirmed by chest X-ray or CT scan, with or without a positive reverse transcription PCR assay) and a C reactive protein (CRP) ≥40 mg/L are eligible. The primary outcome measure is CRP, measured serially from admission to day 14, hospital discharge or death. Secondary outcomes include the WHO Clinical Progression Improvement Scale as a principal efficacy assessment. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol was approved by the East Midlands-Nottingham 2 Research Ethics Committee (20/EM/0115) and given urgent public health status; initial approval was received on 5 May 2020, current protocol version (V.6.0) approval on 12 October 2020. The MHRA also approved all protocol versions. The results of this trial will be disseminated through national and international presentations and peer-reviewed publications. TRIAL REGISTRATION NUMBERS: EudraCT2020-001684-89, ISRCTN40580903.

Original publication




Journal article


Bmj open

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COVID-19, adult intensive & critical care, infectious diseases, rheumatology, thoracic medicine, Adult, COVID-19, Clinical Trials, Phase II as Topic, Hospitalization, Humans, Multicenter Studies as Topic, Research, SARS-CoV-2