The team behind the CHAPAS paediatric HIV trials has been awarded the prestigious European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) prize for Outstanding Research Team. The EDCTP prize recognises the team's scientific excellence, and their major contribution to strengthening clinical research capacity in Africa, and networking between the partners.
The CHAPAS (Children with HIV in Africa - Pharmacokinetics and Acceptability of Simple antiretroviral regimens) team has worked together for over a decade. It includes partners in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, the Netherlands and the UK. Their research focuses on improving treatment for HIV infected children in sub-Saharan Africa.
The CHAPAS team has worked to answer key research questions on treatment and management of HIV infection in children in Africa. Working with the generic company, CIPLA Ltd, India, they have focused on designing new combination baby tablets and then generating the evidence for provision of the most appropriate antiretroviral drugs and formulations for children, with optimal management approaches relevant for the setting. The idea is to ensure that children can receive drugs and care near to where they live, and in formulations and doses which can be delivered by caregivers and healthcare workers at primary-care level facilities.
The CHAPAS Team network has successfully completed 3 landmark clinical trials (CHAPAS 1, CHAPAS 2 and CHAPAS 3) and has funding for a third trial (CHAPAS 4, starting 2018, supported by EDCTP).
Chapas Clinical Trials - Developing HIV baby pills. from MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL on Vimeo.
Research results have resulted in high impact publications and enabled regulatory authority licensing of several new life-saving paediatric formulations of antiretroviral drugs. The research has had substantial influence on WHO guidelines, policy and practice across sub-Saharan Africa, enabling rollout of fixed-dose combination 'baby pills' for children across Africa.
Di Gibb, Professor in Epidemiology at the MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, who leads the collaboration, said: "I am so delighted that the CHAPAS teams have been recognised for the work we have done to bring treatment to HIV infected children in Africa. It has been a wonderful collaboration, which continues as we start our 4th CHAPAS trial of 1000 children who have failed first-line, and need second-line treatment, as HIV is a life-long disease. I am particularly proud of the capacity building of young researchers across all countries, which has occurred through these trials; our prize money will likewise contribute to building the young researchers of tomorrow."
The core CHAPAS team comprises of:
- University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia
- Joint Clinical Research Centre, Uganda
- Baylor College of Medicine, Uganda
- University of Harare, Zimbabwe
- Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
- University of Cape Town, South Africa
- MRC Clinical Trials Unit at UCL, UK