On March 24, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation launched an express approval process at the Brazilian Registry of Clinical Essays (ReBEC) for clinical research on the Covid-19. The so-called fast track may reduce the normal approval period, which normally takes up to a couple of weeks, to less than 48 hours. Scientists all over the world will be able to have quick access to the modeling of ongoing studies, thus avoiding re-working and promoting cooperation. The goal is to shorten the time between the beginning of the research, testing, and the delivery of drugs, vaccines and other innovations to the society.
Users of the fast track will be given online support by means of four dedicated phone numbers, through text messaging apps such as Telegram or WhatsApp, or on the chat available on the platform. They can also call via Wi-Fi, at an appointed time, using the same apps. In addition to the 24/7 system with automated e-mail messages, human support will be increased, starting earlier, at 8 a.m., and going up to 8 p.m. “Our curating and technology team has accepted the challenge and will be working in shifts to respond to the pandemic, which has now spread to the entire world”, ensured Luiza Silva, ReBEC coordinator and specialist in risk and crisis communication. The existing fast tracks for zika virus, dengue fever, yellow fever and malaria, and support to other studies will not be interrupted.
The platform has more than 3.8 thousand registries already approved, all with validation accepted by the most important scientific publications in the world, and are open to public consultation. It is also the only primary registry in the world in Portuguese acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Local platform, global science
“We consulted people responsible for Covid-19 studies at Fiocruz to improve the new fast track, and noticed that it is also possible to speed up approval to help Brazilian researchers who have difficulty with the bilingual forms”, said Silva. “The combined visibility of both languages boosts national research and, as observed in other epidemics, it can help Portuguese-speaking countries that have even less resources than us”, she mentioned, reminding of the advance of the pandemic in the African continent. The extended hours will make it easier to make contact with collaborating researchers abroad.
Administered by the Institute of Scientific and Technological Communication and Information in Health of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Icict/Fiocruz), ReBEC is the result of a partnership between the Foundation and the Ministry of Health and WHO. The Registry is one of the world’s 16 only platforms that are members of the global network of clinical research registries, which includes Germany, China, Australia, Japan, the European Community and other global health and pharmaceutical research centers.
How it works
Researchers with studies in priority areas must fill out and send the form in the system like they normally would, exclusively after authorized by the ethics committee. The next step requires calling one of the numbers available on the website to receive instructions directly from the support team, who will get in touch immediately or at a time defined together with the researcher.