Funding prophylaxis research

elderly woman in care home

Protection for vulnerable populations

The COVID-19 pandemic has been felt particularly acutely in care homes and nursing homes. Preventing infection in residents and reducing transmission of the virus within care homes is currently dependent on infection control measures, such as the use of PPE and restricting freedoms, such as movement around the home and the ability to have visitors. These can have a negative effect on the quality of life for residents and their families.

In the event a vaccine becomes available to the general population this may not be as effective in the elderly whose immune response may not be as robust. It is also possible that a vaccine may not be as acceptable in a predominantly elderly population where rates of immunosuppression from underlying conditions and medicines are higher. 

At present there are no medications that have been shown to be effective in the prevention of infection or transmission of SARS-CoV-2. The identification of cost-effective, safe prophylaxis (drugs or antibody preparations to help prevent infection and transmission), that is easy to administer in a care home setting, would be a substantial step forward in controlling this disease in vulnerable populations.

Research funding

The COVID-19 Prophylaxis Oversight Group (POG) has been established by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) to guide prophylaxis options for this disease. 

We are seeking to commission a research consortium that will be able to deliver a complex platform design clinical trial of potential drug or antibody candidates in a care home setting in the UK. The study team may help to identify candidates for inclusion into the platform with the final choice of candidates to proceed to trial determined by the POG.

Information about applying

Teams with the experience of delivering the following are encouraged to apply 

  • Multi-centre platform design studies. Experience of adaptive designs, factorial trials and cluster randomisation are likely to be particularly relevant.
  • Large multi-centre interventional trials in care homes in the UK.
  • Large multi-centre Clinical Trial of an Investigational Medicinal Product (CTIMP).

For more information and to apply visit the funding call page.