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Ecraid and the University of Oxford join forces to extend the RECOVERY trial to Europe

The trial, which was initiated in the UK in 2020, aims to identify treatments that might be beneficial for patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 and influenza. After having recruited over 48,000 participants in the UK, Asia, and Africa, RECOVERY is taking advantage of Ecraid's expertise and warm-base clinical research network to begin enrolling patients in France, Italy, and the Netherlands.


Utrecht, October 30, 2023 – Ecraid (the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases) and the University of Oxford are thrilled to announce the signing of a clinical trial collaboration agreement. Ecraid will support the University of Oxford with the selection of European sites for the RECOVERY trial.

RECOVERY was launched in the UK in March 2020 to identify treatments that might be beneficial for patients hospitalised with COVID-19. In 100 days, the trial provided results that changed global practice, including the first major breakthrough in the pandemic response – the finding that the inexpensive steroid, dexamethasone, saves the lives of seriously ill COVID-19 patients.

To date, the trial has recruited over 48,000 participants, extended to six countries across Asia and Africa, and provided conclusive evidence on 13 potential treatments for severe COVID-19. Through a partnership with Ecraid, RECOVERY will broaden its reach to include France, Italy, and the Netherlands, applying its simple design to the assessment of treatments for seasonal influenza (flu), a disease which is estimated to kill between 290,000 and 650,000 people every year.                        

"Patients benefit from large and well-designed trials that continuously determine the best treatment for infections. International collaboration increases the efficiency with which high-quality scientific evidence can be generated," said Prof. Marc Bonten, CEO at Ecraid. "We are very proud that Ecraid is now facilitating both REMAP-CAP and RECOVERY; two international platform trials that shaped the treatment for COVID-19 during the pandemic. Both studies will continue to deliver scientific evidence for treatment of respiratory tract infections and are ready to serve patients if a new pandemic occurs."

Sir Peter Horby, Moh Family Foundation Professor of Emerging Infections and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford and Joint Chief Investigator for RECOVERY, said: ‘’The effectiveness of RECOVERY can be attributed to its streamlined design. By minimising the burden on clinicians and working with clinical research networks and other partners, we were able to recruit many thousands of participants and produce conclusive evidence on multiple treatments.

“I am very excited that we are now applying the power of RECOVERY to influenza, a disease that kills hundreds of thousands of people every year and represents the greatest pandemic threat to human health. Ecraid’s extensive pan-European clinical research network will enable us to apply the RECOVERY model in Europe to improve care for patients with influenza, whilst continuing to drive innovation in infectious disease research.”

This collaboration agreement reflects both parties' commitment to making meaningful contributions to research into public health threats that represent an immediate threat to the health of people in Europe. RECOVERY’s assessment of treatments for flu is funded by Flu Lab. Through grants and investments, Flu Lab supports efforts to advance innovative solutions to persistent problems in the prevention and treatment of influenza.

About Ecraid

Ecraid – the European Clinical Research Alliance on Infectious Diseases – is a not-for-profit foundation that advances clinical research in the field of infectious diseases by establishing a long-term, financially self-sustainable, clinical research network in Europe. Headquartered in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Ecraid is the first network of its kind in Europe to offer a single point of access to a pan-European clinical research network for infectious diseases and spans 1,100 clinical sites and 900 laboratories across 42 countries. For more information, please visit

About the RECOVERY trial

The RECOVERY trial was launched in just nine days in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The trial, which is co-led by Oxford Population Health (the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford) and the Nuffield Department of Medicine, was designed to discover new drug therapies to treat people hospitalised with severe COVID-19. Since its inception, RECOVERY has tested 13 different drugs, comparing the effects with usual care alone in over 48,000 participants.

The trial has uncovered four treatments that reduce the risk of death from COVID-19: dexamethasone, tocilizumab, Ronapreve, and baricitinib. The finding that dexamethasone saves the lives of seriously ill patients provided the first major breakthrough in the COVID-19 response, and is estimated to have saved around one million lives worldwide between July 2020–March 2021. RECOVERY involves many thousands of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and research administrators at hospitals across the UK and in six other countries.

The trial’s streamlined design can be easily adapted for future clinical trials, particularly in pandemic settings; it has been described as a ‘beacon of excellence’ and championed as a model that should be adopted in other countries. RECOVERY is supported by grants to the University of Oxford from the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR)UK Research and Innovation, and Wellcome (for COVID-19), and Flu Lab (for flu).

For more information, please visit