Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is launching its fastest ever clinical drugs trial to see whether a cancer medicine can help people with Covid-19.
The Cambridge-based company says it is rushing through global testing for Calquence, currently used to treat some blood cancers.
It believes the drug could help to cut deaths from Covid-19 and the need for patients to be put on ventilators.
Covid-19 can trigger an exaggerated immune system response in some patients, increasing harm on the respiratory system.
There have been encouraging early clinical results, the firm said, which suggest that suppressing the inflammation caused by the immune response may reduce coronavirus's respiratory impact.
Trials are due to open in the next few days, with the firm's Jose Baselga saying: "This is the fastest launch of any clinical trial in the history of AstraZeneca."