NIH Awards Johns Hopkins Baltimore-Washington-India Trials Group $460,679 in Supplemental COVID-19 Funding

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On June 25, 2020, the Johns Hopkins Baltimore-Washington-India Clinical Trials Unit (BWI-CTU) received notification from the NIH approving supplemental funding to conduct COVID-19-related research at the Johns Hopkins (Baltimore) and Whitman Walker Health (Washington, DC) Clinical Research Sites. Led by Drs. Charles Flexner and Amita Gupta, the BWI-CTU supports high quality HIV-related treatment and prevention research at the two domestic sites and at the Byramjee Jeejeebhoy Government Medical College in Pune, India.

The supplement is leveraging existing HIV research infrastructure and personnel resources for DAIDS-sponsored COVID vaccine and monoclonal antibody prevention trials that will include both HIV seropositive and seronegative participants. Activities supported involve preparing the two domestic sites to conduct COVID, and include community outreach and staff safety training. Partnering in the effort is the Johns Hopkins Center for Immunization Research. which will conduct vaccine trials beginning in July 2020. 

The Johns Hopkins University Clinical Research Site (JHU CRS) and the Whitman Walker Health (WWH) have highly experienced and innovative leaders in anti-infective research and have a long and successful record of HIV and viral hepatitis clinical research implementation. Co-PI Dr. Charles Flexner noted the impressive reach the domestic CTU sites offer for such research: “The health systems that are supported by JHU and partner institutions currently provide medical coverage for more than half of all adult residents in the state. This includes having a physical presence in every major population center in the state, including the metropolitan Washington, DC, counties -- where nearly half of the state’s COVID cases have occurred. This is a great opportunity to swiftly leverage our existing resources in the search for COVID treatment and prevention strategies for both HIV positive and HIV negative patients.”