Global clinical research organisation (CRO) Pharm-Olam has been selected by the US Department of Defense (DOD) to lead and offer full-service clinical trial support of the Adalimumab COVID Therapeutic Trial.

The DOD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense (JPEO-CBRND) awarded a $36.3m agreement to the company to execute a Phase II/III clinical trial of the monoclonal antibody.

Pharm-Olam Government Programs vice-president Jamie Sischo said: “We are pleased to have been selected by the DOD to conduct this important clinical trial and support the development of countermeasures to help those infected by Covid-19.

“The Adalimumab COVID Therapeutic Trial will test the safety and efficacy of a treatment for pandemic sufferers.

“Further, this agreement expands our dedication and commitment to slowing and stopping the effects of Covid-19 and adds to our growing portfolio of federally funded clinical trials, including support for Operation Warp Speed (OWS).”

Adalimumab will be tested in the adaptive, outpatient trial as a treatment against the inflammatory response and associated complications due to Covid-19.

Joint Program Executive Officer for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Defense Dr Jason Roos said: “Repurposing an existing FDA-approved drug product for potential application as a Covid-19 treatment, and possibly as a medical countermeasure for future biothreats, is an exciting and smart endeavour that the DOD fully supports.

“This investment should allow us to save time and lower costs as we rapidly seek safe and effective treatments to combat this disease, which is a significant threat to both the warfighter and the world.”