Working Groups of the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition

Topic-specific working groups are among the key tools and resources being established to facilitate clinical research in low-resource settings.

The working groups consist of experts that are working together to support Coalition members and others conducting clinical research on COVID-19.

If you are a researcher who would like to submit a query to one of the working groups, please email with the name of the working group in your subject heading.

The working groups may: 

  • Suggest solutions to common problems
  • Discuss and answer questions submitted by clinical investigators
  • Review and share their opinions on materials and tools
  • Discuss common challenges in their respective fields of expertise and share the outcomes
Transversal Working GroupsDescription
EthicsSupport investigators with ethics questions in the development, review and/or validation of protocols and informed consent documents in the COVID-19 pandemic context.

Link national ethics review boards with guidance on specific subjects, when requested, including on issues related to data sharing, sampling, and fast-track review.

Provide inputs on community engagement and health care worker protection, where requested.
RegulatoryFacilitate rapid and joint protocol reviews and consideration of relevant import licenses by national regulatory agencies, through joint reviews for clinical approval and registration.
Data Quality and MonitoringConsidering current travel limitations (local to study sites or international), to develop alternative proportionate best practices of COVID-19 study oversight (including remote monitoring).
LogisticsFacilitate COVID-19 clinical trials logistics by advising on procurement and shipment of essential study materials, including medications, diagnostics, swabs, PPE, clinical trial materials etc.
Study Design and AnalyticsAdvise on the design (including for adaptive studies), conduct, and statistical analysis of COVID-19 studies, including clinical trials.
Clinical Pharmacology and Drug CandidatesProvide advice on clinical pharmacology, drug analysis, and clinical pharmacometrics relevant to COVID-19 clinical trials.
Supply and Market Dynamics; Medicine QualityAssess production and distribution capacity for medicines and vaccines to inform countries and international agencies, and ensure adequate supply of effective interventions.

Conduct market dynamics analyses and interventions to scale up production.

Monitor and analyse medicine quality reports during the COVID-19 pandemic response, and facilitate dissemination of alerts.
Virology, Immunology & DiagnosticsRegularly update a list, prices, and availability of validated tests (RT-PCR, serology, antigen detection etc.).

Review, adapt, endorse, and/or validate laboratory check lists and SOPs, including sample collection, handling, and analysis.

Note: The Virology, Immunology & Diagnostics working group is transversal, to discuss and provide information on validated diagnostic tools and relevant SOPs, checklists, etc. There is another working group called Diagnostics Studies that is focused specifically on trials and other types of studies to evaluate and validate diagnostics.
Maternal and Child HealthFacilitate appropriate inclusion of women (pregnant, breastfeeding or, more broadly, of childbearing age) and children in clinical trials of COVID-19 diagnostics, prophylaxis, and therapeutics.

Support use of safety registries for pregnant women in context of COVID-19 treatment.
Data SharingProvide best practice for data sharing, e.g., language in consent forms, organization of data, supporting documents, acceptance of terms of data sharing; define the policy for data contributor engagement for secondary use of data (choice of open access or controlled access, etc.).
Data ManagementProvide guidance in best practice and choice of tools to ensure optimal data management and security.
Clinical EpidemiologySupport and promote the conduct of descriptive and predictive epidemiological studies using individual or aggregated data, and studies that assess the impact of COVID-19 on other diseases and on health systems, as well as health economics studies.
Social ScienceSupport and promote studies examining the social determinants of COVID-19, e.g., behavioural studies, ethical issues.

For trials involving treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients, the Coalition recommends joining WHO’s SOLIDARITY trial.

Intervention trial/study Working GroupsDescription
Prevention & treatment trials working groups:

• Early Diagnosis and Treatment
• Post-exposure Prophylaxis
• Pre-exposure Prophylaxis
Promote and facilitate appropriate, well designed, and well conducted clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, including pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis, early outpatient treatment of uncomplicated disease, Phase 2 trials, and vaccine studies.
Diagnostics StudiesPromote and facilitate well designed studies to test or validate relevant diagnostic tools for COVID-19.

Note: The Diagnostics Studies working group is focused specifically on trials and other types of studies to evaluate and validate diagnostics. There is another working group called Virology, Immunology & Diagnostics that is transversal, to discuss and provide information on validated diagnostic tools and relevant SOPs, checklists, etc.

Please note that these working groups do not replace the normative guidance provided by the World Health Organization or the standard approvals process involving regulatory agencies or ethics review boards. Rather, these groups of experts can provide a sounding board for investigators who have questions while planning or conducting clinical research related to COVID-19, sharing valuable advice based on their knowledge and experience.

If you would like to propose yourself or someone else as an expert member of one of the working groups, please submit your contact and other information through our form.

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