The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has fast tracked the roll out of the global Solidarity Trial launched by the WHO to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19.
Nine hospitals in India have so far been approved to conduct randomized controlled clinical trials. The trial will evaluate four treatment protocols — Remdesivir, a combination of Lopinavir and Ritonavir, Hydroxychloroquine, and Lopinavir and Ritonavir with Interferon beta-1a . The hospitals included are the AIIMS in Jodhpur, Apollo Hospital in Chennai, the Ahmedabad-based B J Medical College and Civil Hospital, and the Chirayu Medical College and Hospital in Bhopal.
“The required regulatory and ethical approvals have already been obtained and the trial has begun with recruiting COVID-19 patients in the country. Till now, nine hospitals have been approved. The plan is to enroll at least 20 to 30 clinical sites across India,” said Dr Sheela Godbole, head of the Epidemiology division at the ICMR-National AIDS Research Institute to Financial Express.
India plays a critical role in both research as well as in manufacturing
By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slows the disease’s progression or improve survival. Importantly, this initiative provides for both speed and scale.
Welcoming India’s participation in the WHO global trial, Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO representative to India, said, “We congratulate the government of India, particularly the ICMR, for joining the global ‘Solidarity Trial’. Through this collaboration, Indian researchers and institutions will participate in a global initiative to find effective treatment options for COVID-19.”
“India plays a critical role in both research as well as in manufacturing once trials conclude successfully. WHO India is extending the required support to conduct the trial in India,” Bekedam said.
The Solidarity trial
Over 100 countries have requested participation to find effective therapeutics as soon as possible, via the trial. The participation of multiple clinical trial units and hospitals in multiple countries will ensure adequate enrolment of participants in the shortest possible time. This will help fast-track identification of correct treatment options for COVID-19.