Launch of Catalyst - a COVID platform trial
The CATALYST trial is seeking signals of efficacy of drugs targeting the most serious symptoms of the COVID virus. The aim is to reduce the severity of the disease, leading to a reduction in the number of patients needing to be admitted to intensive care, and ultimately in deaths. The drugs being tested include those already in use for patients with cancer and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.
This trial was designed by the Inflammation – Advanced and Cell Therapy Trials Team (I-ACT) at the University of Birmingham’s Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit and is being run in close partnership with University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust and the Birmingham NIHR Biomedical Research Centre (BRC) and delivered in close collaboration with the Oxford and UCL BRCs. Two UK drug companies have partnered with the Universities of Birmingham and Oxford. Izana Bioscience is providing Namilumab (IZN-101) which is a fully human monoclonal antibody already in late-stage trials to treat rheumatoid arthritis and an inflammatory disease called ankylosing spondylitis. Celltrion Healthcare UK are providing Inflizimab (CT-P13) which is an anti-tumour necrosis factor (TNF) therapy that is designed to attached to a protein involved in inflammation. Through the trial’s exciting new adaptive trial design, more rapid testing of each drug’s effectiveness will be allowed.