Health Policy

IQVIA joins government collaboration to find Covid-19 treatments

By - Integrated Care Journal

IQVIA joins government collaboration to find Covid-19 treatments

IQVIA has joined the ACCORD-2 collaboration to fast-track the development of new treatments for Covid-19. IQVIA will provide a single research platform across the UK to facilitate multiple clinical trials regardless of sponsor. This strategic alliance will examine the effectiveness of repurposed medicines, potential new drugs, and yet unlicensed therapies in treating Covid-19 patients.

ACCORD-2 (ACcelerating COVID-19 Research & Development) brings together the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and ten of its Biomedical Research Centres led by Southampton, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and industry partners.

The ACCORD-2 initiative has received rapid regulatory approval and will immediately commence enrolment of Covid-19 patients into the trials, enabling urgent access to potential treatments.

The ACCORD-2 collaboration will enable an accelerated approval process within the established safety and efficacy protocols of the NIHR. The expedited approval process will ensure that patients in significant need will receive potentially ground-breaking treatment in the coming days and weeks, as trial compounds are delivered to the NHS.

The typical study design phase usually takes up to 18 months but due to the collaborative nature of this agreement among UKRI, NIHR and IQVIA’s partner hospitals, human trials could now be possible in several weeks, with a goal of compressing that timeline even further.

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), ACCORD-2 is a collaboration between the Government Scientific Office, the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centres, PHE, clinical research company IQVIA and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Dr Jonathan Sheffield, Covid-19 UK Research System Operations and Liaison Director for NIHR and DHSC said: "ACCORD-2 will transform the way in which the UK’s research community finds treatments for global healthcare challenges such as COVID-19. The NIHR’s experimental medicine infrastructure of people, facilities and technology is well-placed to fast-track research into COVID-19 treatments. ”  

Professor Tom Wilkinson, ACCORD-2 clinical academic lead based at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, commented: "There has been a tremendous effort to pull this initiative together so rapidly. ACCORD-2 is a national effort and will be key to developing effective new treatments which are needed so desperately,"

Drug compounds that demonstrate effectiveness and safety in the early clinical trials stage will then be moved rapidly onto large-scale research platforms such as the Randomised Evaluation of COVID Therapy (RECOVERY) trial  or other standalone IQVIA studies. BerGenBio will provide the first treatment for the study.

IQVIA will rapidly recruit patients for the ACCORD-2 studies and will use a range of proprietary technological solutions wherever feasible to minimise infection risk to researchers and to reduce the administrative burden on hard-pressed hospitals.

Speaking about IQVIA’s involvement in the ACCORD-2 Collaboration, UK General Manager and Senior Vice President for Northern Europe Tim Sheppard said: “Covid-19 is the greatest public health challenge that has faced the world in a generation. We at IQVIA are proud to be able to use our technology platform, vast network of clinical trial infrastructure, and research experience to work with partners developing treatments that could positively alter the course of this pandemic."