Durham-based IQVIA has been selected to manage COVID SHIELD, an Australian clinical study of hydroxychloroquine, the drug President Trump said he has been taking to prevent a COVID-19 infection.
The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, a leading biomedical research organization in Australia, selected IQVIA to manage the Phase 2/3 trials.
Richard Staub, president of research & development solutions at IQVIA, said in a news release, “As the human data science company, IQVIA is uniquely positioned to support this study with our combined capabilities of unparalleled data, advanced analytics, transformative technology, and extensive domain expertise.”
The COVID SHIELD study will test an expanded indication for generic Hydroxychloroquine, used primarily to treat malaria, as a potential treatment to prevent high-risk healthcare workers from contracting COVID-19. Local hospitals across Australia will administer the drug or a placebo to approximately 2,250 healthcare professionals who are currently caring for COVID-19 patients.
Marc Pellegrini, principal investigator at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, said in a statement, “We are hopeful this Australian-first trial will provide a definitive answer to the question of whether hydroxychloroquine is effective as a prophylaxis, or prevention, against contracting COVID-19.”
To streamline this trial without placing undue risks and burden on the frontline healthcare workers or clinical teams, IQVIA said it will use virtual clinical tools and technologies. Participants will do most of their reporting via virtual applications. The trial is expected to last about a year.