University of Alberta & University of Calgary Lead COVID-19 Clinical Research for Public-Private Partnership

University of Alberta Leads & University of Calgary Lead COVID-19 Clinical Research for Public-Private Partnership

A group of Alberta, Canada researchers have formed a network to address COVID-19 patients developing severe and life-threatening symptoms and have launched a province-wide clinical trial called Alberta HOPE COVID19 trial. The study will be initiated in days and will explore the use of hydroxychloroquine, along with many other investigators worldwide, to asses its efficacy at preventing high-risk residents from being hospitalized due to severe symptoms of the illness.

Due to the sheer volume of hydroxychloroquine trials addressing COVID-19 it would be impractical to report on each one but from time to time what impresses are how clinical investigators, research centers and other professionals associated with research such as coordinators, are coming together, organizing and mobilizing to deal with this pandemic.

In the case of the Alberta HOPE COVID-19 trial, the leads are University of Calgary and the University of Alberta; and in the process came a considerable new innovative public-private partnership inclusive of financial support by the following:

  • Alberta government
  • Alberta Health Services and its Strategic Clinical Networks
  • Calgary Health Trust
  • Alberta Innovates
  • University of Calgary/Alberta Health Services Clinical Research Fund

This study commences within days and the following dates have bene published:

  • Estimated Study Start Date:  April 15, 2020
  • Estimated Primary Completion Date: July 31, 2020
  • Estimated Study Completion Date: August 31, 2020

The Study

The Alberta Hope COVID-19 study will recruit 1,600 Albertans to determine whether a prescribed five-day treatment of hydroxychloroquine can prevent hospitalization for those at highest risk of developing a severe illness. Tyler Shandro, Minister of Health, reports, “As we’ve learned from other countries, hospital systems can become overwhelmed by those infected with the virus who need critical care. Our goal is to reduce the risk of severe disease experienced by individual and reduce the burden on the health-care system by helping people recover from the effects of the virus at home.”

Representing the lead study site, University of Calgary, Dr. Luanne Metz reports, “We will be targeting Albertans who are at risk of developing a severe case of COVID-19. Those include people over 18, living independently, who have an underlying medical condition which has proven to contribute to the worsening of symptoms, and eventual hospitalization.”

Facts about the study

  • The Alberta-specific trial will be funded by a consortium including a $286,000 grant from the Government of Alberta
  • The University of Calgary’s Cumming School of Medicine is a leader in health research, with an international reputation for excellence and innovation in health care research and education
  • Alberta Health Services will obtain permission from individuals with positive COVID-19 tests to provide their contact information to Alberta Hope COVID-19 study researchers.  Consenting participants will be screened for safety and eligibility.