India one of the largest contributors of global solidarity trial: WHO Chief Scientist on COVID efforts
World Health Organisation (WHO) has set up a global solidarity platform because it recognized that multiple small clinical trials will be done but will not be leading to conclusive results, Dr Swaminathan said during the opening ceremony of the seminar of PANEX 21.
Pune: WHO Chief Scientist Dr Soumya Swaminathan on Monday said India is one of the largest contributors of the global solidarity trial that is aimed to provide robust results on whether a drug can save lives in patients hospitalized with severe or critical COVID-19.
"World Health Organisation (WHO) has set up a global solidarity platform because it recognized that multiple small clinical trials will be done but will not be leading to conclusive results," Dr Swaminathan said during the opening ceremony of the seminar of PANEX-21.
WHO Chief Scientist stressed that a pandemic requires multicountry and collaborative platform trials. "...an adaptive design where we bring on drugs to test...do it in very large sample size, an look at endpoints which are of public health importance like mortality," she said.
"India is one of the largest contributors of the global solidarity trial coordinated by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) but occurring in countries across countries," she added.
Earlier in August, the WHO had announced the next phase in its Solidarity trial. Under this initiative, hospitalized patients are being enrolled to test three new drugs in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. Several therapies were selected by an independent expert panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
Similarly, Dr Swaminathan informed that WHO has set up a Solidarity vaccine trial platform. "We have recognised that there more vaccines which are in development need to be tested properly in clinical trials. If you have a large multicountry platform trail you can quickly enrol subjects."
"In a country like India, we can do the trial within India because we have such a huge population and every possible disease can be tested. Plus we have the capacity. We have human resources and infrastructure," she said.
"Armymen can contribute a lot more in medical research because of some inherent advantages -- more or less a...population that can be followed and excellent facilities across the military hospitals," WHO Chief Scientist added.
The Solidarity PLUS trial is a platform trial that represents the largest global collaboration among the WHO member states.
This allows the trial to assess multiple treatments at the same time using a single protocol, recruiting thousands of patients to generate robust estimates on the effect a drug may have on mortality--even moderate effects, according to WHO.