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Largest clinical trial for treatment of COVID-19 cases in Africa begins
Hamburg/Kumasi. Thirteen African countries and an international network of research institutions have jointly established a study platform to be able to conduct clinical trials for early treatment of COVID-19 disease. The Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR) in Ghana is also participating in the trial in cooperation with the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM).
“ANTICOV” is a large-scale trial designed to identify therapeutics that are able to prevent progression of COVID-19 to severe disease. An initial study is expected to enroll 2,000 to 3,000 COVID-19 patients from Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoir, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sudan and Uganda.
“The number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in many African countries have turned out to be lower than initially predicted. But we need to prepare for a surge in cases and respond with potential therapeutic options that are suitable for African patients. We are therefore pleased to be among the institutions participating in this study,” said Dr. John Amuasi, Head of the Global Health and Infectious Disease Research Group at KCCR. The aim of the study is to treat patients with COVID-19 in the early stages of the disease to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed, given the limited intensive care facilities in Africa.
Prof. Jürgen May, Head of the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at BNITM, welcomes the launch of the study platform for African physicians. In cooperation with the German Centre for Infection Research (DZIF), the BNITM has taken over the responsible leadership of the study in Ghana. “There are only few clinical trials investigating treatments that can be administered early in the course of infection to prevent disease progression in African patients with COVID-19,” said May. The ANTICOV consortium is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the global health initiative “Unitaid”.
The ANTIVCOV research project was developed with support from the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum (AVAREF). The AVAREF is a platform set up by the World Health Organisation in 2006, composed of representatives of African ethics committees and regulatory authorities, to simplify and accelerate the review of clinical trials for COVID-19 at country level.
The ANTICOV consortium has mobilised a broad network of different partners with extensive experience in clinical research, belonging to the "COVID-19 Coalition for Clinical Research", which was launched in April 2020:
Dr. John Amuasi, Head of Global Health and Infectious Diseases, amuasi(at)kccr.de , Tel. +233 3220 60351 Ext 230
Frédéric Ojardias (Geneva), fojardias(at)dndi.org, +41 79 431 62 16
Linet Otieno (Nairobi), latieno(at)dndi.org, +254 733 624 206
Ilan Moss (New York), imoss(at)dndi.org, +1 646 266 5216
Francine Ngalula (Kinshasa), francinengal(at)gmail.com, +243 816 402 389