University to coordinate clinical study for novel coronavirus in England and Scotland

In response the novel coronavirus emergency, the International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium (ISARIC) has activated its Clinical Characterisation Protocol (CCP) for emerging infections. The Chief Investigator for the CCP in England and Scotland is Professor Calum Semple at the University of Liverpool.

The CCP was prepared for just such an emergency. It provides an ethically approved framework for enrolling patients to a clinical study which will offer new insights into this emerging global threat.

The CCP facilitates the collection of standardised clinical data and samples on patients hospitalised with suspected or confirmed infection with novel coronavirus. This will inform the outbreak response and patient care, not just in the UK but internationally. With novel coronavirus patients now identified in the UK, the UK health research community is well-prepared to advance our understanding of this disease.

The development of the CCP was led by Dr Kenneth Baillie at the University of Edinburgh. The CCP study is sponsored by the University of Oxford which also hosts ISARIC’s Global Support Centre. ISARIC’s Members have developed the CCP over a number of years.

The CCP is supported by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and is now open to enrolment in NHS Trusts, including the network of high level isolation units where patients with novel coronavirus will be admitted in the early stages of the outbreak in the UK.

Calum Semple, Professor of Outbreak Medicine at the University of Liverpool and Consultant at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, said: “This is an important part of a global effort to understand this new disease which has Pandemic potential. Scientific competition has been set aside in the interests of humanity.”

ISARIC is a global federation of clinical research networks, providing a proficient, coordinated, and agile research response to outbreak-prone infectious diseases. ISARIC’s mission is to generate and disseminate clinical research evidence for outbreak-prone infectious diseases, whenever and wherever they occur.

ISARIC is funded by Wellcome, the UK Department for International Development, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.