Despite extensive efforts by public health authorities worldwide, the outbreak of COVID-19 that began in Wuhan, China in December 2019 has rapidly evolved into a global pandemic. Local transmission of the infection in Canada has now been confirmed, and necessitates the prompt evaluation of promising prevention strategies. One strategy that is already used in the prevention of some infectious diseases is post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP), and involves giving a short course of medication to people who have recently been in close contact with confirmed cases. Lab data, animal models and early clinical data suggest that a safe, existing drug that is already marketed in Canada for a different purpose holds promise as a COVID-19 PEP agent.
CORIPREV-LR is a clinical trial in Toronto and Vancouver that will address the immediate need for COVID-19 prevention interventions by testing whether or not giving PEP to people exposed to COVID-19 will stop them from getting the disease. Our study will use a “ring” approach, in which we identify a ring of exposed close contacts around confirmed COVID-19 cases and randomize these rings to either a 14-day course of PEP medication, or no intervention, and then follow all participants systematically to see if they develop COVID-19 infection. This ring design was a key part of the successful eradication of smallpox, and the evaluation of the vaccine used for Ebola.
Our study team is well-positioned to conduct this work, and includes Canadian experts on the front lines of the SARS, MERS, H1N1, Ebola and HIV epidemics. Our efforts are coordinated with other research groups conducting COVID-19 prevention trials worldwide, both in Canada and internationally. Our study will be unique: CORIPREV-LR is the only trial studying this drug for COVID-19 PEP. In addition, because our study will collect detailed information from participants about their exposures, symptoms and test results, we will learn important information about the natural history of this new disease. Finally, the research procedures we develop through this trial can be harnessed in the future to test other promising COVID-19 prevention interventions, including vaccines, once they become available.
Important Resources for CORIPREV-LR Participants
If you have been assigned to the ACTIVE (study drug) arm:
Instructions on Dried Blood Spot collection can be found here.
If you have questions about HIV, consult the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange.
For all participants:
Instructions on nasal swab collection can be found here.
Instructions for specimen bag handling can be found here.
Community resources related to mental health can be found here.
For the informed consent form (ICF) for St. Michael’s Hospital, please click here.