Care Access Research Launches Alliance to Provide Infrastructure for COVID-19 Trials
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues globally, biopharma companies have rushed to develop vaccines, new drugs and repurpose old drugs in an attempt to slow, halt and prevent the disease. Several hundred clinical trials have been initiated to test drugs and vaccines. But one obstacle for sponsor organizations is simply finding the resources—experienced clinical trial sites.
Boston-based Care Access Research, which develops and manages clinical research sites, launched the COVID-19 Clinical Trials Alliance. The goal is to connect trial sites, sponsors and clinical research organizations (CROs) to speed COVID-19 clinical trials for vaccines, drugs and diagnostics.
“The industry needs swift collaboration like never before,” said Ahmad Namvargolian, chief executive officer and co-founder of Care Access Research. “It is critical for study sponsors to find clinical trial sites fast enough to avoid delays in trials. Each day lost means lives lost.”
He went on to say, “Now more than ever, the industry needs the ability to quickly connect research-capable clinics and hospitals with trials sponsors looking for them. This alliance gives sponsors a simple way to connect with sites around the globe to run their COVID-19 trials.”
By making literally hundreds of sites available via a single portal for COVID-19 trials should decrease what can often be a multi-month lag in finding research sites for trials. As part of the Alliance, Care Access Research plans to offer support services to sites that would like to run COVID-19 studies but don’t have the necessary infrastructure.
“Care Access Research has been a fantastic partner in preparing our site to run COVID-19 trials,” said Peder J. Pedersen, a gastroenterologist and principal investigator in for Intermountain Healthcare in Salt Lake City. Pedersen, with Care Access Research, is currently preparing for an upcoming COVID-19 trial. “While we focus primarily on GI studies at our site, we want to contribute to the COVID-19 response. Care Access Research has made it possible for us to do that.”
Care Access Research’s website notes, “Although many doctors would like to be involved in research, it can be daunting for the average physician to take on the rigorous and regulated process. Care Access Research provides the training, staff, administration and other resources to build a high-quality research program within the existing clinical practice of doctors who are already at the top of their field in terms of commitment and expertise.”
According to an article in the journal The Lancet published on April 2, as of March 24, there were 536 relevant registered clinical trials worldwide. Of the 332 that were COVID-19 related, 188 were open for recruitment and 146 trials were preparing to recruit. Those figures have likely grown in the last two weeks.
The study noted, “The distribution of these clinical trials is centered in the countries most affected by COVID-19 in the past two months, particularly China and South Korea, with high-income countries in Europe and North America planning most of the forthcoming trials. Very few trials are planned in Africa, south and southeast Asia, and central and South America.”
The article also emphasizes, “COVID-19 trials should be adequately powered to generate evidence. They need to be large and well designed. Priority should be given to interventions that reflect the specific needs of countries and are readily implementable. For resource-poor settings, that means interventions need to be affordable and available, and adaptable to the healthcare systems and the populations they serve.”