BRADFORD's hospitals have been scouted to take part in a "transformative" Covid-19 drug trials which could stop virus sufferers from needing intensive care support.

Bradford Teaching Hospitals is among 20 centres in the UK currently testing an AstraZeneca compound on select coronavirus patients, who do not have underlying health conditions, before trying out more drugs that could speed up recovery.

It is part of ACCORD (Accelerating, COVID-19 Research & Development), a joint scientific effort between the NHS, NIHR and IQVIA.

James Brook, the UK Clinical Director for IQVIA, described the BRI's efforts as "incredible".

The director told the Telegraph & Argus: "We'd normally take around 18 months to take a compound, write a study for it, ensuring there's availability. That would normally take a minimum of 18 months. We're now at a stage where that can take 18 days. That is incredible and it shows the focus, the ambition of the Bradford physicians to make a difference but also the R and D staff (research and development).

"The biggest challenge we've had is the lockdown has proved really effective - that sounds almost terrible, in order to test drugs in a disease we need that disease. Because the lockdown's so successful we've seen a reduction in patients available for the study.

"The issues with Bradford people is hard because we're seeing so few presenting at hospital. The hand washing, the social distancing is all making a massive difference.

"Two months ago we were seeing 800 cases a day. Yesterday (June 8) it was just 55. We do expect to see more patients but whereas we were expecting a flood of patients, we are seeing a trickle. These studies will be open at Leeds as well.

"The BAME population is critical here. We do not know whether there's a genetic link. We need to work out why the mortality in these populations is so much higher."

Working in Bradford behind the scenes is Dr Dinesh Saralaya, the principal Investigator; Dr Abid Aziz, Sub investigator; Karen Regan, study coordinator; Lucy Brear, research nurse; Lim Storton, research nurse; Stephen Cox, admin; Jane Dennison, R and D contact; Anjum Rajput, finance and costings as well as Leslie Masters and Robina Ghulam, both covering pharmacy.

"They're the real heroes," Mr Brook said.

"They're facing the patient's that have Covid, they're doing the research on top of the caring."

In the hopes of staying true to his Yorkshire roots, Mr Brook hopes it marks the start of more Northern hospitals having access to clinical trials that could change lives.

He has seen patients from Scotland forced to fly down to London for trial treatment that could see new drugs work wonders for their conditions.

"We're still not doing enough work with them," he said.

"We've increased by 300 per cent but that's only for one to three studies."