A group of scientists, physicians, funders, and policy makers from over 70 institutions from over 30 countries have launched an international coalition to respond to COVID-19 in resource-poor settings. The COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition aims to accelerate desperately needed COVID-19 research in those areas where the virus could wreak havoc on already-fragile health systems and cause the greatest health impact on vulnerable populations.

In a Comment published today in The Lancet, the members of the coalition argue that international research collaboration and coordination is needed urgently to support African, Latin American, Eastern European, and certain Asian countries to respond effectively to the worsening pandemic and speed up research adapted to resource-limited settings.

The coalition brings together an unprecedented array of health experts, including public-sector research institutes, ministries of health, academia, not-for-profit research and development organizations, NGOs, international organisations, and funders all committed to finding COVID-19 solutions for resource-poor settings.

One important research response to COVID-19 has been launched already, the World Health Organization (WHO)-led SOLIDARITY trial, an unprecedented global effort. But the authors found that out of almost 600 COVID-19 clinical trials registered, very few trials are planned in resource-poor settings. The authors commit to sharing their technical expertise and clinical trial capability to accelerate COVID-19 research in these settings.

The scale of the challenge is clearly beyond the scope of any single organization. The coalition will facilitate a coordinated approach, so that all data from all regions can be collected in a similar fashion, pooled and shared in real-time. This will help countries and the WHO to make rapid evidence-based decisions on policies and practice.   

We welcome the launch of this coalition, which takes advantage of existing multinational and multidisciplinary expertise in running clinical trials in resource poor settings, and will help the World Health Organization in its coordinating role in the global response to COVID-19,” said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist, World Health Organization. “Although the epicentre is today elsewhere, we must prepare now for the consequences of this pandemic in more resource-constrained settings or we stand to lose many more lives.”

Members of the coalition call for specific commitments to ensure access, so that effective new treatments are made available as soon as possible in resource-poor settings and are affordable and readily accessible.

So far more than 70 organizations have joined this coalition, with a call made to other organizations ready to contribute existing capacity to join. Please contact the COVID-19 Clinical Research Coalition for more information: info@covid19crc.org


Media contact

General English-language inquiries 
Ilan Moss: imoss@dndi.org  
Paula Feery: paula.feery@iddo.org

Spanish and Portuguese language inquiries 
Marcela Dobarro: mdobarro@dndi.org

Inquiries for Africa
Linet Atieno Otieno: latieno@dndi.org

Inquiries for South-East Asia
Molly Jagpal: mjagpal@dndi.org

Inquiries for India
Manisha Sharma: msharma@dndi.org

French-language inquiries
Frédéric Ojardias : fojardias@dndi.org


Signatories include

Noor Hisham Abdullah, Ministry of Health, Malaysia;

Marcelo Claudio Abril, Mundo Sano Foundation, Argentina;

Yussof Ahkmal, Clinical Research Malaysia, Malaysia; 

Ashenafi Tazebew Amare, University of Gondar, Ethiopia;

John H Amuasi, The African coalition for Epidemic Research Response and Training (ALERRT), Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana

Prasert Auewarakul, Mahidol University, Thailand;

Augustin Augier, ALIMA, France;

Martin Avaro, National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes of Argentina (ANLIS), Argentina; 

Manica Balasegaram, GARDP, Switzerland;

Emmanuel Baron, Epicentre, France;

Elsa Baumeister, National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes of Argentina (ANLIS), Argentina;

Daniel G. Bausch, UK Public Health Rapid Support Team & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK;

Philip Bejon, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, Kenya;

Estafanio Benedetti, National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes of Argentina (ANLIS), Argentina; 

Anders Björkman, Karolinska Institutet, Sweden;

Catharina Boehme, FIND, Switzerland;

Maria Elena Botazzi, Baylor College of Medicine, USA;

Joel G Breman, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), USA;

Dirk Heinz, DZIF, Germany;

Pedro Cahn, Huesped Foundation, Argentina;

Gail Carson, International Severe Acute Respiratory and Emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC), UK;

Roberto Chuit, National Academy of Medicine of Buenos Aires, Argentina;

Gavin Churchyard, Arum Institute; 

John Clemens, icddr,b, Bangladesh;

Stewart Cole, Pasteur Institute, France;

Maura Dandri, DZIF, Germany; 

Nick Day, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand;

Arjen Dondorp, Critical Care Asia Network, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand;

Paul Farmer, Harvard Medical School, USA;

Jeremy Farrar, Wellcome, UK;

Abebaw Fekadu, CDT-Africa, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia;

Antoine Flahault, Institute of Global Health, University of Geneva, Switzerland;

Patricia Garcia, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, Peru;

Steven Gordon, Malawi-Liverpool-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Malawi;

Anastasia Guantai, University of Nairobi, Kenya;

Philippe J Guerin, Infectious Diseases Data Observatory (IDDO), University of Oxford, UK;

Dirk Heinz, DZIF, Germany; 

Abraham Hodgson, Ghana Health Service, Ghana;

Peter Horby, ISARIC & the African Coalition for Epidemic Research, Response and Training (ALERRT), UK;

Peter Hotez, Baylor College of Medicine, USA;

Muntaser Ibrahim, Institute of Endemic Diseases, University of Khartoum, Sudan;

Chikwe Ihekweazu, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria;

Timo Jaeger, DZIF German Center for Infection Research, Germany;

Jean Jannin, Société Francophone de Médecine Tropicale et Santé Internationale, France;

Gagandeep Kang, Translational Health Science and Technology Institute of India, India;

Marie-Paule Kieny, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Switzerland;

Yeri Kombe, KEMRI, Kenya;

Hans-Georg Kraeusslich, DZIF German Center for Infection Research, Germany;

David Lalloo, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK;

Trudie Lang, The Global Health Network, UK;

Ramanan Laxminarayan, Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy, USA;

Honorati Masanja, Ifakara Health Institute, Tanzania;

Marcela Mercado, Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia, Colombia;

Hassan Mshinda, Botnar Foundation, Tanzania;

Joia Mukherjee, Partners in Health, USA;

Trevor Mundel, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, USA;

Jean-Jacques Muyembe, Institut National pour la Recherche Biomédicale, Democratic Republic of Congo;

Denise Naniche, ISGlobal, Spain;

Barnabas Nawangwe, Makerere University, Uganda;

Francine Ntoumi, Pan-African Network for Rapid Research, Response, Relief and Preparedness for Infectious Disease Epidemics (PANDORA-ID-NET), Fondation Congolaise pour la Recherche Médicale, Brazzaville, Republic of Congo;

Marta Ospina, Instituto Nacional de Salud de Colombia;

Michael Parker, ETHOX Centre, University of Oxford, UK;

Bernard Pécoul, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Switzerland;

Antonio Plasència Taradach, ISGlobal, Spain;

Andrea Pontoriero, National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes of Argentina (ANLIS), Argentina; 

Richard Price, Menzies School of Health Research, Australia;

David Reddy, Medicines for Malaria Venture, Switzerland;

John Reeder, UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR), Switzerland;

Philip J Rosenthal, UCSF, USA;

John Arne Røttingen, Norwegian Research Council, Norway;

Maro Russo, National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes of Argentina (ANLIS), Argentina;

Fred Siyoi, Kenya Pharmacy & Poisons Board, Kenya;

Munir S. Skaf, University of Campinas, Brazil;

Nathalie Strub-Wourgaft, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative, Switzerland;

Omar Sued,Huesped Foundation;

Marcel Tanner, Swiss Academy of Arts and Sciences, Switzerland;

Guy Thwaites, Oxford University Clinical Research Unit, Vietnam;

Faustino Torrico, CEADES Foundation, Bolivia;

Nísia Trinidade Lima, Fundação Oswaldo Cruz (Fiocruz), Brazil;

Jürg Utzinger, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland;

George M Varghese, Christian Medical College, Vellore, India;

Nicholas J. White, Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand;

Marc-Alain Widdowson, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Belgium;

Charles S Wiysonge, South African Medical Research Council, South Africa;

Tassew Woldehanna, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia;

Katharine Wright, Nuffield Council of Bioethics, UK;

Yazdan Yazdanpanah, REACTing & INSERM, France.