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AKUH Participates in Global Clinical Trial for Potential Treatment for COVID Associated Pneumonia

<div><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;"><img src="/nairobi/PublishingImages/COVID%2019%20drill%202%20body.jpg" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></span> </p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Today, Roche Kenya Ltd. announced
that patients in Kenya have enrolled in its EMPACTA clinical trial at the
Clinical Research Unit of Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The EMPACTA study is a global
Phase III clinical trial. It is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
and multicenter study that will evaluate the efficacy and safety of Roche’s
medicine Actemra (tocilizumab) in the treatment of COVID-19 associated
hospitalised pneumonia. </span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Both public and private sector
patients in Kenya were eligible to participate in the trial if they met the
study criteria which is being run at Aga Khan University Hospital Nairobi. </span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“This is a watershed moment for
Kenya and us at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi, that we can
participate in an international clinical trial that is testing the effectiveness
of this novel drug on our patients here,” said Dr. Reena Shah, Associate
Professor of Medicine in Infectious Diseases, and the Principal Investigator of
the study in Kenya. &quot;This is where we contribute knowledge and experience
about our  capability and the outcome of
our patients to the international community.&quot;</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“The COVID-19 pandemic continues
to evolve rapidly in Kenya and around the world and Roche is doing everything
we can to contribute. Our people are working day and night with the aim of
developing, manufacturing and supplying key tests and medicines where they are
needed most. We are so glad to see Kenyan patients on the EMPACTA trial,&quot;
said Dr. Beatrice Nyawira, Medical Director, Roche Kenya Ltd.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">“Disparities and lack of
diversity in medical research holds the global community back, and Roche Kenya
is proud to help close this gap.” </span></p><div style="text-align: center;"></div><p style="text-align: center;"><strong style="font-family: helvetica;">Comments by Dr. Rashid A. Aman,
the Chief Administrative Secretary in the Kenya Ministry of Health</strong></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The Ministry of Health remains
committed to providing the highest standard of health to all Kenyans and
supporting the exploration of new therapeutic solutions. This could not be more
important and timely than this period of the COVID 19 pandemic. In this regard
the Ministry is supporting and participating in several global clinical trials
aimed at discoveries of therapeutic agents and vaccines against Covid19.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Which is why the Ministry lends
its support to the global trial on the use of tocilizumab in COVID-19 patients
with moderate disease (EMPACTA trial) being conducted at the Aga Khan
University Hospital here in Kenya as one of the study sites. We commend our
private sector partners the Aga Khan University Hospital and Roche Kenya in
bringing this study to Kenya.</span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The merit of this ongoing trial
has recently been validated by the recent finding by a team of clinical
researchers at the University of Michigan that demonstrated that in a
controlled study of 154 patients with severe COVID-19 illness requiring
mechanical ventilation, tocilizumab was associated with a 45% reduction in the
hazard of death, despite twice the frequency of superinfection   </span></p><p style="text-align: justify;"><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The COIVD 19 pandemic can only be
overcome through a multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder engagement that brings
together academia, research, government and the private sector. The Ministry of
Health remains committed to the advancement of relevant, inclusive and ethical
research that complies with all national regulations.
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