Home of FC Barcelona hosts Covid-19 clinical trial
Camp Nou one of four venues attending to participants taking part in innovative coronavirus research project
With all football postponed due to the health crisis, FC Barcelona’s Camp Nou is instead hosting a pioneering clinical trial into Covid-19.
The trial started on March 16 with the dual aims of fighting transmission and fostering prevention.
According to the researcher leading the investigation, Oriol Mitjà, the project has two pillars. The first is administering antiretroviral drugs to those with Covid-19, aiming to decrease their viral burden and therefore stop them transmitting the virus.
The second is to see if the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce infection among the contacts of people diagnosed with the coronavirus.
The mobile lab in the car park of the famous stadium opened on April 9, and is one of four sites where trial participants can be attended, with others at Hospital Germans Trias in Badalona, Sabadell Swimming Club, and a gas station on Barcelona’s Avinguda Meridiana.
Catalan health Minister Alba Vergés said during a government press conference on Monday that the first results of the clinical trial led by Dr. Oriol Mitjà could be available by next week, if not the end of this week.
The trial, a "very ambitious" project, in the words of the minister, hopes to involve 3,500 participants, and over 2,500 have already taken part.
Those who wish to participate in the trial can sign up at estudicovid19.org.
Data published in real time
The results of this and similar trials will be published openly and in real time, revealed the head of one of the trial’s backers on Wednesday.
Speaking to radio station RAC1, the director of IrsiCaixa, Bonaventura Clotet, said the aim was to share data in order to help design further clinical trials, identify drugs that may work in combination, and provide potential treatments as quickly as possible.
Clotet also said that in his view Spain should extend the current lockdown until May 10.