COVID-19 research led by Cambridge

Page last reviewed: 15 September 2020.

This list will be updated when new studies open to patients on site; please visit here for recruiting studies at CUH led by other hospitals. A list of the national studies already prioritised and approved by NIHR can be found here.


The TACTIC-E clinical trial is testing whether novel therapeutic agents or novel combinations of approved agents can prevent the development of severe symptoms in patients hospitalised with confirmed COVID-19.

The treatments currently being tested in TACTIC-E are:

  • EDP1815

  • Ambrisentan in combination with Dapagliflozin

As in TACTIC-R, this study has been designed to swap out and add in alternative treatments, based on emerging data as the trial progresses. Click to read: TACTIC-E trial to test whether a simple microbe could be an effective treatment for COVID-19


This Cambridge-led, national trial will test whether two drugs that are already in use to treat other immune-related conditions can prevent the development of severe COVID-19 symptoms in patients admitted to hospital. Each of the drugs initially included in the trial, ravulizumab and baricitinib, target a different part of the over-active immune response thought to be the cause of severe COVID-19 disease. TACTIC-R is designed as a platform trial, so that further existing or new drugs that show promise for treating COVID-19 can easily be added to the trial. The chief investigator of TACTIC is Dr Frances Hall, Consultant Rheumatologist at Cambridge University Hospitals.


The Prolific study (ChemoPROphyLaxIs For covId-19 infeCtious disease) aims to determine whether hydroxychloroquine, a drug widely used to prevent and treat malaria, is effective at preventing or reducing COVID-19 infection in frontline healthcare workers, including NHS staff, paramedics and people working in care homes. PROLIFIC will compare whether participants taking daily or weekly doses of hydroxychloroquine are less likely to be infected, or experience reduced symptoms than those taking a daily or weekly dose of a placebo. Neither participants nor the study clinicians will know whether they are receiving hydroxychloroquine or the placebo (a double-blinded study). PROLIFIC aims to recruit 1200 participants from hospitals across the country, and is run by the Cambridge Clinical Trials Unit through the Cambridge Centre for Clinical Research.

Recruitment of participants to the PROLIFIC trial is currently suspended. This is in accordance with MHRA instructions in relation to the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat or prevent coronavirus (COVID-19).

NIHR COVID-19 BioResource:

Creation of a cohort of COVID-19 patients to support research. Led by Professors Ken Smith and John Bradley, the NIHR COVID-19 BioResource allows patients admitted with suspected COVID-19 to participate in research by providing blood and other biological samples. Participants provide blood samples and nasal swabs, as well as consent to access their health records and completion of a short mental health questionnaire. Blood samples will undergo detailed analysis to assess immune responses to infection, in order to understand the determinants of disease course and severity. Combi ning these data with health records and genomic information will enable researchers to assess physical and mental health outcomes of infection.

  • COPING study with NIHR BioResourceThis study is being run by King’s College London and the NIHR BioResource. The COPING study will assess the impact of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on mental, physical and neurological health. Researchers are interested in how different factors associated with the virus are affecting the population. Members of the NIHR BioResource, GLAD Study and EDGI are being invited to take part in this study.If you have any questions or want further information on the study, you can contact the COPING Study team:

COVIDx study:

Evaluation of a rapid test (diagnostic) for COVID-19 in clinical care. Led by Professor Ravindra Gupta and Dr Helen Lee, using the SAMBA-II machine. This technology was developed while Dr Lee was at Cambridge’s Department of Haematology and provides diagnostic information on the ward within 2 hours.

Health data research:

Using linkage of data from existing research cohorts such as NIHR BioResource to Public Health England and NHS-Digital in collaboration with HDRUK. Led by Professor John Danesh

COVID-19 Research for healthy volunteers and those with mild symptoms

The studies listed above are all recruiting patients who are hospitalised with suspected or confirmed COVID-19. If you have experienced mild COVID-19 symptoms or have not had the infection, there are still a variety of ways that you can support essential COVID-19 research. You can find out more about those opportunities here.

More information about COVID-19 research in Cambridge

Researchers from across Cambridge are collaborating closely to understand COVID-19 better and identify successful diagnostics and treatments. The links below highlight how we are working with our partners on the Biomedical Campus and throughout Cambridge on these essential studies:

Information for Research Teams

If you are a researcher in or around Cambridge who is looking for healthy volunteers for COVID-19 research or would like to involve our PPI panel in your research, please get in touch with the CUH R&D PPI and Communications team at

In order to feature in this list, the study needs to be registered through CUH R&D and be recruiting patients from in and around Cambridge. Cambridge based researchers are welcome to involve the CUH PPI panel at any stage of their research project or proposal.

Discover more

If you would like more information about NIHR Cambridge BRC, please contact us.

Events Calendar

Listing relevant events and training sessions for researchers and members of the public.