Media Release

QEH join national COVID research trial

A national trial researching the relationship of genetics and coronavirus has been launched at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Ten patients with coronavirus are undergoing tests at the King’s Lynn hospital, as part of a wider national research campaign aiming to capture data from 20,000 patients.

The study, specifically on patients in Intensive Care, aims to help scientists understand if a person’s genetics influences their susceptibility to the virus. The genomes of severely ill patients, taken from a DNA sample, are compared genomes of patients who have only experienced mild symptoms.

Chris Wigley, CEO of Genomics England working in partnership with the NHS for the research, said: “At Genomics England, we are extremely proud to be working with the NHS and other partners in the fight against COVID-19, to understand why people respond differently to this infection.  We are delighted to be able to contribute to the national response to this terrible pandemic, using the experience we have gained through the 100,000 Genomes Project, and leveraging our ongoing commitment to genomic research and healthcare.”

Dr Antonia Hardcastle, Research Lead for the hospital said “We are pleased to be able to offer our patients the chance to take part in this vital research and help build the evidence we need to respond to the pandemic.  The Trust has recruited over 400 patients to research trials in the past 2 months and would like to thank everyone for their help.”

The study is a response to urgent public health research and is the second COVID-related study the QEH is conducting.

–ENDS–

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