Keeping tabs on Covid-19: Celebrating world clinical trials day with largest Covid-19 interventional trial and modular Covid-19 testing program

Clinical trials are essential for new treatments, vaccines and medicines, and have never been more vital than during a pandemic

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With World Clinical Trails Day celebrated this week on May 20 and with continued efforts in the industry to join forces to find a vaccine, this week Pharma IQ provides a round up on the leading first-in-human clinical trials making significant progress in global cooperation efforts and research development.

Read on to delve into the latest updates from pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US during the Covid-19 pandemic.

First UK participant enters largest Covid-19 interventional trial

The first UK frontline NHS worker has been enrolled as a participant into COPCOV, the largest multi-national interventional clinical study to enroll 40,000 frontline healthcare workers and staff who have had close contact with Covid-19 patients to determine if the investigational medicine, hydroxychloroquine, has an effect on preventing symptoms.

Accord Healthcare, a UK-based medicines manufacturer, has donated over two million tablets to the trial in an effort to combat the spread.

According to a press release by Accord Healthcare, more than 130 UK frontline healthcare workers have lost their lives from Covid-19 and this study will test if hydroxychloroquine can be used to effectively protect valued frontline medical staff and allow them to undertake their vital roles more safely.

Dr. Anthony Grosso, Vice President and Head of Scientific Affairs at Accord Europe, said: “Based on the known pharmacology of hydroxychloroquine, coupled with the emerging knowledge surrounding SARS-CoV-2 viral replication and Covid-19 pathophysiology, we were very keen to test the effectiveness of this molecule in a preventative, rather than late-stage treatment setting. A large-scale, prospective, randomized, double-blind clinical trial in a high-risk setting is the only way to robustly determine if this medicine can lessen or prevent human infection. Previous studies have not adequately tested this hypothesis; the results of COPCOV are therefore of critical importance to public health.”

Dr. James Burt, Executive Vice President at Accord Europe, said: “I am extremely proud that Accord is leading the way in making this significant investment towards the fight against Covid-19. In addition to providing scientific input, our teams are working around the clock, in challenging times, to manufacture the required hydroxychloroquine and matching-placebo for this vital study. This is a great demonstration of Accord’s mission to help make things better for healthcare professionals on the frontline, patients and society in general.”

Not-for-profit organization continues to deliver clinical trials to patients worldwide during Covid-19 pandemic

With the pharmaceutical industry facing heavy pressures from the effects of Covid-19, Richmond Pharmacology has been working to adapt its clinical trial environment to ensure clinical trials for new medicines in a variety of therapeutic areas are still being delivered to patients around the world.

Richmond Pharmacology is working with the Richmond Research Institute, a not-for-profit academic research institute, to study commercially available Covid-19 antibody tests in search of devices, which produce fast and accurate results. In addition to independently examining the performance of these tests, the Richmond Research Institute is funding and performing academic research to assess immunity as well as infection rates against established Covid-19 cases.

Dr. Jorg Taubel, Chief Executive Officer at Richmond Pharmacology, said: “Richmond Pharmacology is currently conducting more than 25 trials in various stages of their program, including: start up, in-clinic and data analysis. Today, this is more important than ever.

Through our molecular and serology Covid-19 testing program, our investment in the facility and PPE readiness – provides our patients, clients and staff with the greatest degree of confidence that we can operate in this new normal.

This will attract significant investment from the global pharmaceutical industry into the UK, and drive research that could save patients’ lives. On World Clinical Trials Day, where the pharmaceutical industry has never been more in the spotlight, continuing to drive forward research in areas such as cardiac safety is paramount to enabling better patient outcomes and supporting the UK economy.”

The discovery of suitable drugs that could help treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus is a long process – from initially understanding its epidemiology to finally developing vaccines to prevent further viral spread. Join an exclusive Pharma IQ webinar with Dassault Systèmes to analyze how computer-aided drug design, simulation and modular design therapeutics are essential analysis tools for speeding up drug development, driving innovation and crucially supporting life science experts in their research to treat the SARS-CoV-2 virus.