The race to find new ways to PROTECT kidney patients from Covid-19
…and how you can help.
People with kidney disease are especially vulnerable to Covid-19.
1 in 5 kidney patients who are receiving dialysis in hospital, or who have a kidney transplant, and tested positive for Covid-19, died within four weeks. Please support urgent research to protect kidney patients. None of this could happen without you. We can’t thank you enough for your amazing support.
Research is giving hope to families
Alison, 59 who has polycystic kidney disease, spent 99 days in hospital after catching Covid-19. During that time, Alison was put into a coma and spent 12 days on a ventilator. She has begun her long recovery and it's still going on.
“When mum was put into a coma and hooked up to the ventilator, we didn’t know if we’d ever see her again.
The relief when they brought her round 12 days later was just incredible. On our first video call with her, she put her thumb up to say she was okay. We were all in pieces. It could have ended so differently. We were the lucky ones.” Natalie, Alison’s daughter.
About the PROTECT-V research.
When Covid-19 first hit, scientific groups around the world began looking through libraries of existing drugs to find something that might help in the fight against the virus. Using an existing drug that had already gone through the long testing process could be a relatively quick-win in the race to beat Covid-19.
Two different scientific groups both identified the drug niclosamide as having potential. It is normally used in tablet form to treat tapeworm, but the mechanism by which it works might also help block viruses from entering the thin layer of cells inside the nose.
This discovery came to the attention of Dr Rona Smith, a clinical researcher at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. Along with colleague Dr Thomas Heimstra, a kidney researcher, they got funding to test whether niclosamide could give people with kidney disease extra protection from Covid-19 - a potentially life-saving idea.
If the PROTECT-V trial shows the niclosamide spray works and it becomes widely available, it could provide vital additional Covid-19 protection for kidney patients alongside the vaccine.
"In six months we've achieved what would normally take three years."
Dr Rona Smith offers hope in the race to give kidney patients extra protection from Covid-19
The race begins.
- The challenge: kidney patients are especially vulnerable to Covid-19.
- The obstacle: the pandemic cut our income in half.
- The solution: the drug niclosamide is normally used in tablet form to treat tapeworm, but the mechanism by which it works might also help block viruses from entering the thin layer of cells inside the nose. The PROECT-V trial will test whether niclosamide could give people with kidney disease extra protection from Covid-19.
- The process: “We found new ways to work. Instead of doing each stage of the project development one step at a time, we found ways to work on them all in parallel. In six months we’ve achieved what would normally take three years.” Dr Rona Smith, PROTECT-V trial lead.
- The development: over 40 hospitals have shown interest to take part in the trials, and 10 are already enrolling patients. Half of the volunteers will receive sprays of niclosamide, and half will receive a placebo. By studying the difference in infection rates across the two groups, Rona and her team will be able to determine how effective niclosamide is in offering protection.
- The bonus: it could provide a barrier to Covid-19 which doesn’t rely on your body mounting an immune defence. This is critical for people with reduced immune systems. It also means it’s a variant-proof solution.
- The added bonus: the spray may have a much wider use, potentially providing a barrier to many other viruses.
- The important thing to remember: this is not a vaccine replacement.
Your support is so important.
The PROTECT-V study is one example of our research to protect kidney patients from Covid-19. There is still more to be done and more research that needs to happen. But it can only happen when you make gifts to help fund it. Thank you.