Imperial College Healthcare Covid-19 ISARIC4C study begins

According to Imperial, ‘thousands of blood samples’ have been collected to help researchers learn more about Covid-19 and the progression of the disease.

The ISARIC4C (International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium) is the largest Covid-19 study undertaken in Europe.

Researchers from three UK universities, including the University of Edinburgh, Liverpool and Imperial are collecting blood samples and clinical data from Covid-19 infected patients.

The patients involved are being cared for in hospitals across the UK including St Mary’s and Charing Cross.

The study involves a national consortium of researchers that will gather data from more than 15,000 patients infected with Covid-19.

Imperial state that ‘preliminary analysis confirms that high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, obesity and chronic lung disease are risk factors that can lead to severe cases of COVID-19.’

The team will start reporting results over the next few weeks.

Data collected from the study will influence clinical decision making and ‘provide a foundation’ for improving understanding of Covid-19.

The team is hopeful that the data will go some way towards helping the government plan its response to the outbreak.

The Medical Research Council and Research Councils UK are funding the project.

Professor Peter Openshaw from the National Heart and Lung Institute and honorary physician at the Trust is one of the three researchers leading the study.

He said:

“This pandemic has highlighted the need for rapid research which can help inform the government’s response.

We have learnt lessons from previous pandemics and were able to put in place plans to develop and implement large-scale studies in preparation for future infectious outbreaks.

“Our study demonstrates the vital importance of forward planning and investment which has allowed us to carry out at speed this study and is providing us with vital insights and results to help us tackle this pandemic.”