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28 June 2021

Clinical trial shows metabolic activators accelerates recovery in COVID-19 patients

A collaborative study led by King’s College London has found that metabolic activators can reduce recovery time in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

Biomedical Science

When treated with metabolic activators, patient recovery time was reduced by 3.5 days. The researchers also found that the addition of the metabolic activators to standard of care not only reduced recovery time, but improved liver health and decreased levels of inflammatory markers.

The study, recently published in Advanced Science, saw a collaboration between King’s College London and KTH-Royal Institute of Technology. Through a randomized, placebo controlled, double blind phase three clinical trial, 309 outpatients at Umraniye Teaching and Research Hospital, University of Health Sciences, Istanbul, Turkey were randomly assigned on a 3:1 basis to receive the metabolic activators or placebo. Patients received the combined activators or placebo twice a day for 14 days and clinical status was evaluated through daily telephone visits.

The human phase 3 clinical study demonstrated that patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19 receiving standard of care experienced a 3.5 day reduction in recovery time when receiving the activators. Aimed at improving mitochondrial function, the protocol included nicotinamide riboside (NR), L-serine, N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC), and L-carnitine tartrate. The results of the study build on findings from Phase 2 clinical data.

“Our phase 3 data shows that metabolic activators significantly improve the recovery, liver health, and markers of inflammation of patients with COVID-19,” says lead investigator Prof. Adil Mardinoglu, from the Centre for Host-Microbiome Interactions at King’s College London.

“Dysfunctional mitochondria have been implicated in worsened progression for COVID-19, and we are pleased to find that the combination of these metabolic activators helps to remedy the stress put on the body of an infected patient.” says co-lead investigator Prof. Mathias Uhlen, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.


The study was conducted in partnership with Stockholm based ScandiBio Therapeutics AB and California-based ChromaDex (NASDAQ:CDXC) that provided one of the four ingredients (nicotinamide riboside) through the ChromaDex External Research Program (CERP).

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Adil Mardinoglu

Professor of Systems Biology