The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition is calling for nominations for members of a new Therapeutics Working Group.
While vaccines remain a critical component of COVID-19 prevention and control, therapeutics are also important. Immune modulating drugs (notably corticosteroids) reduce mortality in hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and there is increasing evidence for the benefits of some antivirals (monoclonal antibodies and small molecule drugs), particularly in earlier disease.
In low-resource settings, prevention of hospitalization is the therapeutic priority, but there is little therapeutics research occurring in these settings. There is also uncertainty on the future affordability and availability of proven therapeutics in such settings, including drugs being prioritized by the Therapeutics Partnership of the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, a multilateral effort hosted by the World Health Organization to support the rapid identification, development, and production of effective COVID-19 therapeutics.
A platform to discuss COVID-19 therapeutics in low-resource settings and promote relevant research and priorities would be beneficial, and the working group will aim to fill this gap, including by providing:
- An advisory role for the coalition and its extended networks, providing a platform for relevant COVID-19 therapeutics discussions;
- An advocacy role, focusing on promoting the therapeutics research that will generate the most relevant evidence for low-resource settings; and
- COVID-19 therapeutics knowledge/evidence generation and synthesis relevant for low-resource settings.
The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition was launched in April 2020, with a mission to advocate and collaborate for the advancement of COVID-19 research driven by the needs of resource-limited settings, and to strive for equitable access to solutions in the global response to the pandemic. Since its creation, topic-specific working groups have been convened to tackle a broad spectrum of pandemic-related issues as they emerge, with focused priorities. The call for a Therapeutics Working Group has come from coalition members, including those involved in other working groups and serving on the Steering Committee.
Photo credit: Xavier Vahed-DNDi