IQVIA Joins UK Government Collaboration To Find COVID-19 Treatments

Apr 29, 2020

IQVIA, a leading clinical research and human data sciences company, has joined the ACCORD-2 collaboration which will fast-track development of new treatments for COVID-19. IQVIA will provide a single research platform across the UK to facilitate multiple clinical trials regardless of sponsor. This strategic alliance will examine the effectiveness of repurposed medicines, potential new drugs, and yet unlicensed therapies in treating COVID-19 patients.

ACCORD-2 (ACcelerating COVID-19 Research & Development) brings together the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) and ten of the its Biomedical Research Centres led by Southampton, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and industry partners. The ACCORD-2 initiative has received rapid regulatory approval and will immediately commence enrolment of COVID-19 patients into the trials, enabling urgent access to potential treatments.

The ACCORD-2 collaboration will enable an accelerated approval process within the established safety and efficacy protocols of the NIHR. The expedited approval process will ensure that patients in significant need will receive potentially ground-breaking treatment in the coming days and weeks, as trial compounds are delivered to the National Health Service (NHS).

The typical study design phase usually takes up to 18 months but due to the collaborative nature of this agreement among UKRI, NIHR and IQVIA’s partner hospitals, human trials could now be possible in several weeks, with a goal of compressing that timeline even further.

Dr Jonathan Sheffield, COVID-19 UK Research System Operations and Liaison Director for NIHR and DHSC said,

“ACCORD-2 will transform the way in which the UK’s research community finds treatments for global healthcare challenges such as COVID-19. The NIHR’s experimental medicine infrastructure of people, facilities and technology is well-placed to fast-track research into COVID-19 treatments,”

Professor Tom Wilkinson, ACCORD-2 clinical academic lead based at the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Southampton Biomedical Research Centre, commented,

“There has been a tremendous effort to pull this initiative together so rapidly. ACCORD-2 is a national effort and will be key to developing effective new treatments which are needed so desperately,”

Funded by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), ACCORD-2 is a collaboration between the Government Scientific Office, the NIHR’s Biomedical Research Centres, PHE, clinical research company IQVIA and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca.

Drug compounds that demonstrate effectiveness and safety in the early clinical trials stage will then be moved rapidly onto large-scale research platforms such as the Randomised Evaluation of COVID Therapy (RECOVERY) trial or other standalone IQVIA studies. BerGenBio will provide the first treatment for the study.

Richard Godfrey, Chief Executive Officer of BerGenBio, commented:

‘We are hopeful that bemcentinib can play a significant role in the global effort to find suitable treatment options for COVID-19 patients. We are poised to commence dosing in the coming days and will provide results as soon as is practically possible.”

IQVIA will rapidly recruit patients for the ACCORD-2 studies and will use a range of proprietary technological solutions wherever feasible to minimise infection risk to researchers and to reduce the administrative burden on hard-pressed hospitals. As part of the comprehensive ACCORD-2 collaboration, its members will make their data and findings available on an open source basis to enable global information sharing and encourage collaboration in near real time.

Speaking about IQVIA’s involvement in the ACCORD-2 Collaboration, UK General Manager and Senior Vice President for Northern Europe Tim Sheppard said:

“COVID-19 is the greatest public health challenge that has faced the world in a generation. We at IQVIA are proud to be able to use our technology platform, vast network of clinical trial infrastructure, and research experience to work with partners developing treatments that could positively alter the course of this pandemic.

“Together with the NIHR, UKRI, and Southampton – IQVIA will provide the necessary clinical research capabilities, scientific expertise, innovative technologies, advanced data analytics and drug assessment resources through our team, which includes thousands of UK-based clinicians, PhDs, epidemiologists, and statisticians. Through this collaboration, we will explore whether treatments already in the research pipeline for other conditions, or new compounds that come forward, could be instrumental to saving lives.”

IQVIA (NYSE:IQV) is a leading global provider of advanced analytics, technology solutions and contract research services to the life sciences industry. Formed through the merger of IMS Health and Quintiles, IQVIA applies human data science — leveraging the analytic rigor and clarity of data science to the ever-expanding scope of human science — to enable companies to reimagine and develop new approaches to clinical development and commercialization, speed innovation and accelerate improvements in healthcare outcomes. Powered by the IQVIA CORE™, IQVIA delivers unique and actionable insights at the intersection of large-scale analytics, transformative technology and extensive domain expertise, as well as execution capabilities. With approximately 67,000 employees, IQVIA conducts operations in more than 100 countries.

IQVIA is a global leader in protecting individual patient privacy. The company uses a wide variety of privacy-enhancing technologies and safeguards to protect individual privacy while generating and analyzing information on a scale that helps healthcare stakeholders identify disease patterns and correlate with the precise treatment path and therapy needed for better outcomes. IQVIA’s insights and execution capabilities help biotech, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, medical researchers, government agencies, payers and other healthcare stakeholders tap into a deeper understanding of diseases, human behaviors and scientific advances, in an effort to advance their path toward cures. To learn more, visit