Largest Covid treatment clinical trial launched in 13 African countries

Thirteen African Nations has joined forces with global researchers to launch the largest clinical trial of potential Covid-19 treatments on the continent.

The trial, dubbed the ANTICOV study, aims to respond to the urgent need to identify treatments that can be used to treat mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 early and prevent spikes in hospitalization that could overwhelm fragile and already overburdened health systems in Africa.

Director, African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. John Nkengasong stated that large clinical trials for corona-virus are needed in Africa to answer research questions particular to the African context.

The clinical trial will be carried out at 19 sites in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sudan, and Uganda and would be led by different researchers from Africa. The initiative came to fruition after calls were made for responses to the COVID-19 that are better designed for the developing world and the challenges of generally underfunded health-care systems.

The adaptive platform trial is an innovative type of clinical trial pioneered for cancer drugs. It allows for several treatments to be tested simultaneously. Adaptive platform trials enable rapid decisions based on the ongoing analysis of results.

All clinical trial data generated will be integrated and shared openly and transparently to inform public health policy. Every effort will be made to work with all relevant partners to ensure that treatments that prove safe and effective will be affordable, available, and accessible for all.

ANTICOV is aligned with the WHO R&D Blueprint, which aims to improve coordination between scientists and global health professionals, accelerate the research and development process, and develop new norms and standards to learn from and improve upon the global COVID-19 response.

Photo courtesy / Photo by Louis Reed on Unsplash

Article by Jedidah Mwangi