The National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s public-private partnership to work on COVID-19 has decided on six existing treatments to evaluate in trials later this month, and said it looks to have vaccine candidates ready for trials by the start of July.
After narrowing down a list of 170 therapeutic candidates to 39 potential agents, a working group of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) partnership has identified six treatments — including immunomodulators and supportive therapies — that it is planning to take into master protocol trials before the month ends.
Though they didn’t name the treatments in their May 18 “Viewpoint” article on JAMA’s website, NIH Director Francis Collins and Johnson & Johnson Chief Scientific Officer Paul Stoffels said the initiative considered many therapeutic candidates with short-term potential, including “agents with either direct-acting or host-directed antiviral activity, including immunomodulators, severe symptom modulators, neutralizing antibodies or vaccines.”
In addition, the partnership is working to have vaccine candidates ready for trials by July 1, with the most promising advancing to phase 2/3 adaptive trials.
“While the activities of ACTIV remain a work in rapid progress, one main element is evident: a public-private biomedical research partnership of this scope and scale has never before come together in such a short time frame,” Collins and Stoffels said.
The initiative is split into four working groups (preclinical, therapeutics, clinical trial capacity and vaccines), each with a co-chair from the NIH and one from the pharmaceutical industry. The collaborative effort involves the FDA, HHS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the European Medicines Agency and 18 major drugmakers, including AbbVie, Amgen, AstraZeneca, Bristol Myers Squibb, Eisai, Evotec, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, KSQ Therapeutics, Eli Lilly, Merck, Novartis, Pfizer, Roche, Sanofi, Takeda and Vir Biotechnology (DID, April 20).
Access the JAMA Viewpoint article here: bit.ly/3g0VrSs. — James Miessler