As 2019 draws to a close, we want to acknowledge the contributions of everyone who works to make the ACTG network a success. From the study participants, community members, site staff, investigators, staff at the LOC, NCC, DMC, Lab Center and SDMC to the leaders of protocols, Chairs of the TSG’s and committees and safety monitoring groups, everyone’s input is needed to address our mission to cure HIV and reduce the burden of disease due to HIV infection and its complications, including tuberculosis and viral hepatitis. From the development of new concepts to the implementation, enrollment and reporting results, we made progress this year at every step along the way.
We opened and made great strides in the enrollments of new studies across our broad scientific agenda, including Phoenix (5300B), LATITUDE (5359), EBA of High-dose INH for INH-resistant TB (5312), Optimize Levonorgestrel Emergency Contraception in TB( 5375), the first in human, Tri-specific antibody study (5377), Observe Dolutegravir, a PEPFAR collaboration (5381) and PURGE-C, acute HCV treatment (5380). We also opened the study of a new PD-1 inhibitor (A5370), but promptly closed the trial early when a safety signal was observed. This process highlights our ability to act swiftly to ensure participant safety. We have fifteen more studies in development and five more that are poised to open soon, including our first studies focused on Hepatitis B (5368 and 5379) and hepatic steatosis (5371), and novel trials evaluating a long-acting combination with cabotegravir and a broadly neutralizing antibody (A5357) and combinations of broadly neutralizing antibodies both for treatment (5364) and Cure (5386).
The scientific productivity of the ACTG remains robust with 60 new manuscripts published in the highest ranking journals including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Clinical Investigation, Clinical Infectious Diseases, Lancet HIV and the Journal of Infectious Diseases. In addition, 40 abstracts were presented at scientific conferences in 2019, including 32 at CROI 2019. Our studies have helped inform guidelines and shaped the future directions of our scientific agenda. Samples from our trials have been leveraged for new grants and have brought new investigators from outside the ACTG into the group. Our new public website, launched in December, will help to spread the word about the work of the ACTG as we work to share information about the findings of the ACTG across the globe. We look forward to the input from all of our stakeholders on how to make this site useful and informative.
2019 has been filled with lows and highs. We mourned the loss of our colleagues, Drs. Kevin Robertson and Charlie van der Horst, together at our annual meeting in June. We are inspired by them to continue to push ahead together as a group, whose members continue to support each other. With the hard work of the scientific leadership and the insightful reviews of dedicated senior investigators in the group we successfully submitted our competitive renewal at the end of July and recently received news of our score, which is in the outstanding range. We have so much more to accomplish as a network, and we cannot do it without all of you. So rest up and get ready, 2020 is going to be amazing.
Judy and Joe
We’ll see you in February, 2020!