24 Oct, 2023
The D3 (PENTA 21) investigators’ meeting took place in Uganda on 12 October 2023, bringing together partners from South Africa, Spain, Thailand, UK and Uganda to discuss progress, challenges and solutions within the D3 trial. This was the first face-to-face meeting of the trial, which seeks to determine the efficacy of a new tablet combining two anti-HIV medicines, dolutegravir (DTG) and lamivudine (3TC), in treating children and adolescents living with HIV, represents a significant step towards simplifying their treatment options.
Leading up to the investigators’ meeting, the Penta team were welcomed by Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation Uganda and the Joint Clinical Research Centre which celebrated its 30th anniversary for site visits. Trial staff enthusiastically guided Penta and MRC CTU UCL through their well-equipped and well-managed sites and the trial staff’s expertise and dedication at both sites were evident as they provided detailed explanations of their operational research-related activities, high quality standards implementation
Overall, the investigators’ meeting was successful thanks to the active participation and engagement of the clinical trial sites. The discussions on implementing the D3 protocol provided valuable insights and allowed for any potential challenges to be addressed. Following the meeting, trial teams participated in the two-day PentaTr@ining Uganda 2023 course, which equipped them with the essential knowledge and skills necessary for the successful execution of this and other clinical trials.
The current standard of care for HIV treatment in adults, children and young people often involves multiple pills, which can be challenging to take and may lead to adherence issues and drug resistance. However, multiple adult studies on the DTG and 3TC combination tablets have shown it to be effective in treating HIV, but data on its effectiveness in children and adolescents is missing. If results from the D3 trial prove this combination to be safe and effective in children and adolescents, this could lead to the development of a much needed, effective, well-tolerated, and easy-to-take treatment for these children and adolescents and could play a major role in reducing HIV transmission rates and improving their quality of life.