NAIROBI, June 11 (Xinhua) -- A scientific community in the Sub-Saharan African region on Thursday launched a digital platform to boost COVID-19 clinical trials through seamless collaboration in research and capacity development.
The African Academy of Sciences (AAS) said on Thursday the Clinical Trials Community (CTC) online platform will enhance partnerships to find a cure for the viral respiratory disease.
"This platform will promote and enhance intra-Africa collaboration around clinical trials with hopes of reducing duplication of work across the region and accelerating the fight of combating COVID-19," said AAS in a statement issued in Nairobi.
Africa is home to a partly 3 percent or 35 out of 1,096 ongoing COVID-19 clinical trials globally, according to clinicaltrials.gov and COVID-19 Trial Tracker.
Thomas Kariuki, Director of Programs at AAS said the online platform will help to raise the visibility of the continent's clinical trial sites and researchers who are investigating different therapies to treat the disease.
"The AAS in collaboration with African and global partners has begun mapping clinical trial sites in Africa led by local researchers," Kariuki said.
"By creating this resource, we want to showcase already mapped sites and encourage others not captured yet to register and showcase their capabilities to enhance relationships with trial investors, partners and regulatory support," he added.
Kariuki said that the creation of a robust online platform is key to boost knowledge sharing as well as industry-academia linkages that are key to fast-track development of a COVID-19 vaccine and therapies in Africa.
He said the online platform will enable researchers involved in COVID-19 clinical trials to link up with industry and regulators to secure additional funding and speed up the approval process for experimental drugs and vaccines required to treat the disease.
Henry Mwandumba, a Malawian researcher said that the establishment of a home-grown digital platform to promote the sharing of scientific information is key to the hastened discovery of new therapies to treat and manage COVID-19.
"This platform is timely and will be game-changing, ensuring Africa is not left behind in the initiative to identify a cure or vaccine for COVID-19," said Mwandumba. Enditem