When COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the FHI Clinical team immediately grasped the challenges that the search for vaccines and treatments would present. We’ve been here before, addressing everything from the global threat of malaria to outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa, Zika in the Americas, and chikungunya in the Caribbean during the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In this blog post, we describe the steps to take and the critical questions to ask.
Targeted geographic areas for the development of an antimalarial drug by Novartis included malaria-endemic regions in Africa and Asia, and Novartis requested assistance identifying and assessing potential clinical sites for their planned clinical trial. Our team conducted 38 rapid, in-depth, 2.5-day site feasibility assessments in the 18 countries.
The study team maintained a 91% retention rate in a study of a Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) vaccine, despite study disruptions due to natural disasters, including Hurricane Maria, and political unrest near the sites in five Caribbean countries in a CHIKV endemic region.
Within a challenging, resource-limited setting, the project team succeeded in reaching FP/FV six weeks after arrival in Sierra Leone and 99.998% accuracy of the planned-to-execute budget.