The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting people and health services around the world. Many of the healthcare professionals involved with the ODYSSEY trial have been providing care to patients with COVID-19 in hospitals, clinics and communities and dealing with the public health response to the pandemic.
Our primary concern is the safety of all our study participants and minimising any additional strain on our clinical sites and staff. Due to restrictions and precautionary measures recommended by local governments in light of COVID-19, it is apparent that in some cases, clinic attendance for the purpose of trial visits cannot safely be maintained. Such restrictions include the need to quarantine, travel limitations and limited availability of clinicians and health care providers for research visits. Decisions have been made following discussions with clinical sites and partner organisations to ensure participants continue to receive care in these circumstances and there is no interruption to their drug supply, primarily ensuring that all participants are safe. We continue to work with all staff that are involved in the ODYSSEY trial as the situation surrounding the pandemic changes and are monitoring the situation closely. At the MRC CTU, all our office-based staff have moved to working remotely and can be contacted via their usual email addresses and telephone numbers.
We previously reported that results from the ODYSSEY trial would be presented at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Boston USA from March 8 to 11 2020. To ensure the safety of all delegates in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, CROI made the decision to suspend the face to face conference in USA, and instead held a virtual edition of CROI. Data from the pharmacokinetic sub-study within the ODYSSEY trial among children with TB/HIV coinfection who were taking twice daily-weight appropriate Dolutegravir dose with rifampicin treatment was presented by our colleague Hylke Waalejwijin (PK lead) on 10 March 2020. These data will inform future use of Dolutegravir in combination with rifampicin-based TB treatment in the paediatric population. The CROI team are currently working on the best way to make presentations and results submitted to the conference available.
We will keep you up-to-date on our activities throughout this period, and we hope you all keep safe and well during this time.
For further information on how ODYSSEY partners are managing the impact of COVID-19 visit the below websites:
- Penta: https://penta-id.org/covid-19-outbreak/
- MRC-UCL: https://www.ctu.mrc.ac.uk/news/news-stories/2020/march/mrc-ctu-at-ucl-response-to-covid-19-pandemic/
- INSERM: https://www.inserm.fr/en/about-inserm/research-programs/reacting-research-and-action-targeting-emerging-infectious-diseases
- PHPT: https://www.phpt.org/index.html