Virtual meeting & kick-off
The ECRAID-Prime kick-off took place on 19 January 2022 as a virtual meeting. ECRAID-Prime is funded by the European Union (Horizon Europe, grant agreement no: 101046109) and is a joint collaboration between University Medical Center Utrecht (UMCU), the University of Oxford (UOXF), the University of Antwerp (UA), and the European Clinical Research Infrastructure Network (ECRIN).
The overall goal of ECRAID-Prime is to efficiently and rigorously evaluate promising candidate therapeutic agents for the community treatment of COVID-19 within early Phase II trials in primary care. With a multi-country adaptive platform trial in primary care, ECRAID-Prime aims to deliver a rapid, large-scale evaluation of new treatments for COVID-19 and increase preparedness for future epidemic/pandemic threats. The project is jointly coordinated by Christopher Butler (UOXF) and Alike van der Velden (UMCU).
The half-day meeting was chaired and moderated by Alike and commenced with an overview of the activities to be undertaken by the work package leads Frank Leus and Roderick Venekamp (UMCU) along with work package representatives Surbhi Malhotra (UA) and Aida Salčić (UMCU) over the next couple of years. Jacques Demotes (ECRIN) delivered a presentation on the Joint Advisory Access Mechanism (JAAM) and its role in ECRAID-Prime. This was followed by a keynote presentation by European Commission representatives Patricia Urbán López (Health and Digital Executive Agency – HaDEA), ECRAID-Prime’s Project Officer, and Evelyn Depoortere (Directorate General Research & Innovation). They emphasized the EU’s commitment to ECRAID-Prime and outlined the project’s background, their recommendations, expectations, and the processes that need to be adhered to. The first part of the meeting concluded with a presentation by Beatrijs Wolters (UMCU) about sponsor perspectives and responsibilities in Phase II trials. The second part of the meeting included an interactive workshop moderated by Alike on trial implementation with potential representatives from a pan-European network in multiple countries. Christopher Butler delivered the concluding remarks.
Alike van der Velden, Project co-coordinator: “ECRAID-Prime’s kick-off meeting was an inspiring and motivating event garnering huge interest from all parties involved. While we have all come to loathe online meetings of late, the format allowed us to welcome consortium members, EU representatives, and teams in various countries who have shown interest in implementing the trial. All of them were able to actively contribute to the meeting.”
Christopher Butler, Project co-coordinator: “I found this to be an inspiring meeting. By collaborating across different countries and settings, with the EU supporting us, we have a good chance of making a great contribution in this groundbreaking ECRAID-Prime project, the results of which will resonate around the world in the fight against COVID-19.”
Fifty people in 11 countries attended the virtual meeting.