Largest clinical trial treating mild to moderate COVID-19 patients to take place in Africa

pharmafile | November 25, 2020 | News story | Research and Development  

The world’s largest clinical trial investigating the treatment of patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 is set to begin in Africa. 

Titled the ANTICOV trial, it sees 13 African countries join forces with research institutions to identify treatments that could treat the virus early and stop hospitals from becoming overwhelmed. 

Dr. Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, Director of COVID-19 Response for the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, said: “The ANTICOV consortium is a broad partnership bringing African scientific leaders and global R&D organizations together to respond to an urgent unmet medical need. Collaboration is the only way to provide robust scientific responses to these research questions. The trial was designed in a way that enables rapid and flexible decisions as we gather knowledge.”

The study will be carried out across 19 sites in the 13 countries which includes 26 prominent African and global research and development organisations. The open-label randomised trial will test the safety and efficacy of treatments in 2,000 to 3,000 mild to moderate COVID-19 patients. The countries involved are: Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sudan, and Uganda.

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, said: “There is a need for large clinical trials in Africa for COVID-19 to answer research questions that are specific to an African context. African countries have mounted an impressive response so far to COVID-19 and now is the time to prepare for future waves of the disease. We welcome the ANTICOV trial led by African doctors because it will help answer one of our most pressing questions: With limited intensive care facilities in Africa, can we treat people for COVID-19 earlier and stop our hospitals from being overwhelmed?”

Conor Kavanagh

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