Lionel Gougelot 6:46 a.m., September 09, 2021, modified at 7:09 a.m., September 09, 2021

The Institut Pasteur de Lille is currently recruiting several hundred volunteers for the second phase of a clinical trial for treatment against Covid-19. Objective of the organization: to measure the effectiveness of an already known molecule, "clofoctol". But all is not easy in this recruitment phase.

It is a molecule that could perhaps change the way patients with Covid-19 are treated.

In order to measure the effectiveness of "clofoctol", already used for certain drugs against nasopharyngitis, the Institut Pasteur de Lille is currently recruiting several hundred volunteers for the second phase of a clinical trial.

Three months after obtaining the green light from the National Medicines Agency, the structure is seeking to recruit hundreds of volunteers.

To be over 50 years old, not to be vaccinated ...

The profile of test candidates is very precise: they must be over 50 years old, have the first symptoms of Covid-19 without having been vaccinated.

Rare candidates, given the criteria imposed?

"This is the difficulty, given the percentage of people vaccinated," concedes Professor Xavier Nassif, director general of the Institut Pasteur de Lille.

"But we are very confident that among the 10% to 15% of people who are still unvaccinated, we will be able to include the number of patients that is necessary to know whether this treatment is working or not."

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Up to 700 volunteers are expected for this first clinical trial.

The selected patients will be subject to very strict medical monitoring: "These patients will have to take two suppositories per day, morning and evening for five days and will be followed for two to three weeks overall," explains the professor. 

A useful supplement to the vaccine

Please note: if successful, the treatment will not be available for several months. But even if vaccination becomes widespread in France, it will be a useful addition to the fight against the disease. "Having an antiviral drug in reserve could not harm health security in general, quite simply as a supplement to the vaccine, for unvaccinated people who will catch Covid and for the few vaccinated people who may also be found contaminated ", explains Xavier Nassif. Limited to the Hauts-de-France region, the clinical trial could if necessary be extended to other regions, or even to Guadeloupe and Martinique.