Cary CRO Allucent wins $25.5M COVID-19 project award

An industry consortium funded by a federal agency has chosen Allucent, a Cary-based clinical research organization, for its initial project award for a decentralized clinical trial involving the next generation of COVID-19 vaccines.

The Rapid Response Partnership Vehicle (RRPV) chose Allucent to lead a vaccine clinical trial where participants can remain at home instead of traveling to trial sites. RRPV is made up of 268 companies, nonprofits and universities and is funded primarily by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, or BARDA, which is housed in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Allucent will use the $25.5 million award to conduct the Phase IV clinical trial with up to 4,000 participants. The study will assess vaccine correlates of protection against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID, with a focus on how geographically diverse populations respond to the vaccine.

“By harnessing the expertise of industry partners like Allucent, the RRPV is poised to make significant strides in addressing critical public health challenges,” said Mike Stebbins, vice president for medical and threat countermeasures at Advanced Technology International, the South Carolina company that manages the RRPV consortium.Allucent logo

Allucent will employ its decentralized trial delivery model, which includes participants self-collecting specimens and using wearable devices, the company said.

“We are proud to apply our decentralized trial expertise as a partner to BARDA on this initiative,” Allucent chairman and CEO Mark A. Goldberg, MD, said in a statement. “The continuing emergence of new variants and subvariants underscores the need for ongoing optimization of COVID-19 vaccines to ensure their effectiveness in combating the virus. This study is a step forward in addressing the evolving challenges posed by COVID-19 and mitigating their impact on public health.”

The RRPV award is part of a broader effort aimed at advancing the nation’s response to Covid and improving preparedness for future public health threats. Called Project NextGen, the $5 billion initiative is designed to help develop new vaccines, therapeutics and technologies to address SARS-CoV-2 viral strains.

Allucent isn’t the only Triangle company involved in Project Next Gen. In September, Rho, a Durham CRO, was chosen to provide statistical and data coordinating services for Phase 2b clinical trials of new COVID vaccine candidates.

Kyle Marshall, NCBiotech Writer
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