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Clin Transl Sci ; 15(4): 831-837, 2022 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1583606


Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) remain the gold standard to evaluate clinical interventions, producing the highest level of evidence while minimizing potential bias. Inadequate recruitment is a commonly encountered problem that undermines the completion and generalizability of RCTs-and is even more challenging when enrolling amidst a pandemic. Here, we reflect on our experiences with virtual recruitment of non-hospitalized patients in the United States for ColCorona, an international, multicenter, randomized, placebo-controlled coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) drug trial. Recruitment challenges during a pandemic include constraints created by shelter-in-place policies and targeting enrollment according to national and local fluctuations in infection rate. Presenting a study to potential participants who are sick with COVID-19 and may be frightened, overwhelmed, or mistrusting of clinical research remains a challenge. Strategies previously reported to improve recruitment include transparency, patient and site education, financial incentives, and person-to-person outreach. Active measures taken during ColCorona to optimize United States recruitment involved rapid expansion of sites, adjustment of recruitment scripts, assessing telephone calls versus text messages for initial contact with participants, institutional review board-approved financial compensation, creating an infrastructure to systematically identify potentially eligible patients, partnering with testing sites, appealing to both self-interest and altruism, and large-scale media efforts with varying degrees of success.

COVID-19 , Text Messaging , COVID-19/epidemiology , Humans , Multicenter Studies as Topic , Pandemics , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , SARS-CoV-2 , United States/epidemiology
Lancet Respir Med ; 9(8): 924-932, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1413874


BACKGROUND: Evidence suggests a role for excessive inflammation in COVID-19 complications. Colchicine is an oral anti-inflammatory medication beneficial in gout, pericarditis, and coronary disease. We aimed to investigate the effect of colchicine on the composite of COVID-19-related death or hospital admission. METHODS: The present study is a phase 3, randomised, double-blind, adaptive, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. The study was done in Brazil, Canada, Greece, South Africa, Spain, and the USA, and was led by the Montreal Heart Institute. Patients with COVID-19 diagnosed by PCR testing or clinical criteria who were not being treated in hospital were eligible if they were at least 40 years old and had at least one high-risk characteristic. The randomisation list was computer-generated by an unmasked biostatistician, and masked randomisation was centralised and done electronically through an automated interactive web-response system. The allocation sequence was unstratified and used a 1:1 ratio with a blocking schema and block sizes of six. Patients were randomly assigned to receive orally administered colchicine (0·5 mg twice per day for 3 days and then once per day for 27 days thereafter) or matching placebo. The primary efficacy endpoint was the composite of death or hospital admission for COVID-19. Vital status at the end of the study was available for 97·9% of patients. The analyses were done according to the intention-to-treat principle. The COLCORONA trial is registered with (NCT04322682) and is now closed to new participants. FINDINGS: Trial enrolment began in March 23, 2020, and was completed in Dec 22, 2020. A total of 4488 patients (53·9% women; median age 54·0 years, IQR 47·0-61·0) were enrolled and 2235 patients were randomly assigned to colchicine and 2253 to placebo. The primary endpoint occurred in 104 (4·7%) of 2235 patients in the colchicine group and 131 (5·8%) of 2253 patients in the placebo group (odds ratio [OR] 0·79, 95·1% CI 0·61-1·03; p=0·081). Among the 4159 patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, the primary endpoint occurred in 96 (4·6%) of 2075 patients in the colchicine group and 126 (6·0%) of 2084 patients in the placebo group (OR 0·75, 0·57-0·99; p=0·042). Serious adverse events were reported in 108 (4·9%) of 2195 patients in the colchicine group and 139 (6·3%) of 2217 patients in the placebo group (p=0·051); pneumonia occurred in 63 (2·9%) of 2195 patients in the colchicine group and 92 (4·1%) of 2217 patients in the placebo group (p=0·021). Diarrhoea was reported in 300 (13·7%) of 2195 patients in the colchicine group and 161 (7·3%) of 2217 patients in the placebo group (p<0·0001). INTERPRETATION: In community-treated patients including those without a mandatory diagnostic test, the effect of colchicine on COVID-19-related clinical events was not statistically significant. Among patients with PCR-confirmed COVID-19, colchicine led to a lower rate of the composite of death or hospital admission than placebo. Given the absence of orally administered therapies to prevent COVID-19 complications in community-treated patients and the benefit of colchicine in patients with PCR-proven COVID-19, this safe and inexpensive anti-inflammatory agent could be considered for use in those at risk of complications. Notwithstanding these considerations, replication in other studies of PCR-positive community-treated patients is recommended. FUNDING: The Government of Quebec, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the US National Institutes of Health, the Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, the Rudin Family Foundation, and philanthropist Sophie Desmarais.

COVID-19 , Colchicine , Administration, Oral , Ambulatory Care/methods , Ambulatory Care/statistics & numerical data , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/administration & dosage , Anti-Inflammatory Agents/adverse effects , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/epidemiology , Colchicine/administration & dosage , Colchicine/adverse effects , Double-Blind Method , Drug Monitoring/methods , Female , Hospitalization/statistics & numerical data , Humans , Intention to Treat Analysis , Male , Middle Aged , Outcome Assessment, Health Care , Risk Assessment , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification
Ann Rheum Dis ; 80(5): 550-557, 2021 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-968958


The search for effective COVID-19 management strategies continues to evolve. Current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 mechanisms suggests a central role for exaggerated activation of the innate immune system as an important contributor to COVID-19 adverse outcomes. The actions of colchicine, one of the oldest anti-inflammatory therapeutics, target multiple mechanisms associated with COVID-19 excessive inflammation. While many COVID-19 trials have sought to manipulate SARS-CoV-2 or dampen the inflammatory response once patients are hospitalised, few examine therapeutics to prevent the need for hospitalisation. Colchicine is easily administered, generally well tolerated and inexpensive, and holds particular promise to reduce the risk of hospitalisation and mortality due to COVID-19 in the outpatient setting. Successful outpatient treatment of COVID-19 could greatly reduce morbidity, mortality and the demand for rare or expensive care resources (front-line healthcare workers, hospital beds, ventilators, biological therapies), to the benefit of both resource-replete and resource-poor regions.

Anti-Inflammatory Agents/therapeutic use , COVID-19/drug therapy , Colchicine/therapeutic use , Humans , SARS-CoV-2