13 African countries launch largest clinical trial for new drug combination to treat people with mild COVID-19
London, May 4, 2021 (AltAfrica)-13 African countries are seeking participants to test a new drug to treat people with mild to moderate forms of Covid-19 before their cases become severe.
Already, the first participants in the new study arm have been recruited in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Guinea. In the coming weeks, additional trial sites will enrol participants in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sudan, and Uganda.
The study called Anticov is the largest trial in the continent to identify early Covid-19 treatments. Participants will test a new drug combination, nitazoxanide + ciclesonide to treat people with mild-to-moderate COVID-19
The combination has two different mechanisms of action that could work at different stages of infection: one that is potentially active during the first, viral replication stage of SARS-COV-2 infection and one that decreases the likelihood of an inflammatory stage that can start a few days later. Both drugs are already commercially available and will be affordable and easy to access and administer, if shown to be effective against COVID-19.
The ANTICOV study is being carried out by a consortium of 26 partners which include leading African research institutions and international health organizations, coordinated by the non-profit research and development (R&D) organization Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).
It is the largest trial in Africa to identify early COVID-19 treatments that can prevent progression to severe disease and potentially limit transmission
The good news is that the all important study has been reviewed through the WHO-created African Vaccine Regulatory Forum (AVAREF) – which facilitated the regulatory process in each ANTICOV country – and by the WHO COVID-19 Research Ethics Review Committee.
As we face a mutating virus that challenges the tools we have to fight COVID-19, research into promising treatments has never been more important. It is vital to work out which therapeutics we can add to the existing package of patient care – and how they can be best-adapted for use in low-resource settings,‘ said Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid, which is partly funding the study. ‘
Through the ANTICOV trial, Unitaid is investing in potential drugs to treat mild and moderate COVID-19 – a key gap in current treatment options that we must bridge to prevent hospitalisations and deaths.‘