The University of Illinois’ Health System launches the COVID-19 vaccine trial testing Moderna’s mRNA-1273 starting this Monday. Led by University of Illinois Chicago, the center targets enrollment of up to 1,000 participants for this clinical trial. Led by Dr. Richard Novak as principal investigator, the U.S. government through Operation Warp Speed has contributed over $900 million to the biotech sponsor for COVID-19 research. Chicago, one of the most diverse cities in the United States, is expected to be a key contributor to a diverse pool of participants for this pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial.
COVID-19 in the Region
The City reports nearly 70,000 cases of SARS-CoV-2 while 121,000 cases are reported in Cook County with 8,114 deaths. By May, it was reported that although Blacks made up about 25% of the Illinois population they represented 60% of the deaths—a disturbing statistic. Hence the importance of vaccine participation amongst a diverse population within Cook County and Chicago including African Americans and Latinos.
University of Illinois Chicago (UIC)
UIC was a key trial site in the remdesivir study which led to the approval, via emergency access, of that antiviral drug for COVID-19. UIC clinical research is led by the Office of Vice President for Clinical Research (OVCR) seeking to drive world-class research that advances evidence for new medicine locally and globally. OVCR offers research development, research infrastructure and research compliance-related services. UIC offers a number of sites from University of Illinois Hospital and Clinics to UIC College of Medicine to clinics such as Mile Square Health Center and Ryan White Infectious Disease Clinics.
According to Book Club Chicago, over 2,000 people have contacted the university with interest in participation. Again, diversity will be instrumental, hence investigators will seek volunteers representing as many different ethnic groups as possible, reports principal investigator Dr. Novak.
Richard Novak, MD, infectious Diseases