- What is this research looking at exactly?
The Bari-SolidAct trial is looking to see whether adding a well-known arthritis (anti-inflammatory) drug called baricitinib (often called by its brand name Olumiant) to the state-of-the-art treatment can help people who have been hospitalised with severe SARS-CoV-2 (also called COVID-19) to recover.
- What is the purpose of this research?
One of the main problems seen in COVID-19 infections seems to be that the body sometimes “over-reacts” to the virus, causing severe inflammation within the tissues of the body, especially the lungs. This prevents the body from being able to heal itself effectively and can lead to further complications and prolong or stop recovery. Previous research in the United States has shown that baricitinib is able to help people who have been admitted with the severe forms of COVID-19, reducing the amount of time they spend in the hospital. This trial is looking to repeat this success in order to show safety and efficacy of baricitinib, to see whether adding it to the state-of-the-art treatment EU patients receive helps them recover more quickly.
- Who is running the study?
The main project is being managed by Oslo University Hospital in Oslo, Norway, but many other centres from many countries are involved in the process, including Austria (3), Belgium (4 centres), the Czech Republic (1), France (8), Germany (5), Greece (2), Hungary (3), Ireland (8), Italy (18), Luxembourg (1), Norway (11), Portugal (9), Slovakia (6), Spain (8) and Turkey (5).
- Who can take part in the study?
Patients who have been admitted to the hospital with severe COVID-19 may be screened for their participation in this study if their hospital is taking part in the study. Patients being admitted to hospitals who are not involved in the study will not be included.
Patients who will not be admitted to the study may include those who are unable to make an informed choice about their participation in the study, those who are below the age of consent or those who may be pregnant.
- What will happen to me if I am included in the study?
The Bari-Solid Act trial is a double blind, randomised trial. This means that once you are included in the study, you will be randomly assigned to either the baricitinib arm of the trial (the “active” arm) or a non-baricitinib “placebo” arm. All patients involved in the trial will receive the same state of the art treatment any other patient would receive in their situation, but patients who have been admitted to the active arm of the study will also receive baricitinib. Your study doctor will explain how the treatments will be given and the timing, as well as any potential side effects you may experience.
- Why is this trial randomised?
There are several reasons why we use randomisation in drug trials. The first is that it eliminates bias in who is picked to be part of the study. Eliminating bias is very important because it means that all patients are treated equally, which allows investigators to directly compare the results of the trial. It is important that we have both people who are receiving standard treatment with baricitinib and patients who are receiving just the standard treatment so that we can see whether there is a difference in the recovery between patients receiving baricitinib and those who do not. It is also useful for reducing bias in how patients react to questions or in the effect of their expectations on potential results.
- What are the possible benefits of being in the study?
Being involved in a drug trial means that you are part of the group of patients who help the doctors to identify whether a drug is helpful, but it also means you are able to take a more active role in planning your treatment. You may get a treatment before other people have been offered it.
- What are some of the possible risks of taking part in the trial?
Baricitinib is not a new drug, so the potential side effects have been well described. Side effects of the drug are generally known to be quite mild, but some people may feel uncomfortable or even experience some serious side effects. As well, it is not clear that baricitinib will work well in this situation, so it may prove to be just as good as the standard treatment. There is also a chance you will not be included in the active study arm, which means that you will not receive baricitinib as part of your treatment plan. Additionally, after the trial, extra visits may be required of you to monitor your health and ensure that you are not experiencing any long-term effects from the drug.
- Can I refuse to take part in the study?
Yes! You are never required to begin or to continue on with the study. You have the right to withdraw from the study at any time. You will not be pressured to continue in the study. If you would like to withdraw from this study, simply speak to your doctor who will help you understand your rights and talk to you about whether you would like your information to remain available to the study team.
- Does being involved in the study cost me anything?
No, there will not be any cost involved for you to take part in the study.
- Can I stop the study treatment?
Yes, you may stop the treatment at any time. Simply speak to your study nurse or doctor who will help you withdraw from the study, which will include reminding you about your rights in regard to your data.
- Can I take back my permission to be part of this study?
Yes. You may decide at any time to withdraw your permission to be part of this study. Speak to your study nurse or doctor who will help you withdraw and will talk to you about your rights regarding your data. After your release from hospital, as part of your treatment plan, your study nurse or doctor should ask you if you would like to continue as part of the project as a normal part of each interaction you have. You have the right to withdraw at any time without being pressured to continue.
- Who can I talk to if I have questions?
You may speak to any nurse or doctor who is treating you at the hospital.
- What information will be held about me and who will have access to it?
Information about your health condition, including your diagnosis, blood values and chart notes may be seen by the doctors and nurses involved in your treatment, as well as other relevant members of the health care team.
- How will you keep my data private?
The EU-SolidAct trial follows the guidelines for data security required by the European Union’s Data Protection Act as well as any relevant guidelines specific to your country. Your data will be recorded in a very safe electronic data system without name or any information which can identify you directly. These data are accessed exclusively by trial researchers and persons responsible for monitoring the safety of the participants. As part of the reporting of the results of the study your data may be seen by analysts from other countries involved in the study, but they will not know the data belongs to you, and they cannot ask for this information.