NIH launches clinical trials network to test COVID-19 vaccines and prevention strategies


This new network aims to enroll thousands of volunteers in trials testing investigational vaccines and monoclonal antibodies to fight COVID-19.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has merged four existing clinical trials networks to create the COVID-19 Prevention Trials Network (CoVPN).1

CoVPN was established as a result of President Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, which aims to deliver a safe vaccine for the virus by January 2021.

It is composed of four existing, NIAID-funded clinical trials networks: the HIV Vaccine Trials Network (HVTN); the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN); the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (IDCRC); and the AIDS Clinical Trials Group.

“Finding a safe and effective vaccine to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 is an urgent public health priority,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. in a recent press release.2

In addition to their new COVID-19 efforts, these networks will continue to perform clinical trials for HIV vaccine and prevention, as well as other infectious diseases.

CoVPN is expected to conduct the first Phase 3 clinical trial this summer. It will use a harmonized vaccine protocol developed by the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) public-private partnership. It will involve testing the investigational mRNA-1273 vaccine, developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at the biotechnology company Moderna, Inc.

As the CoVPN studies become active, they will reflect on the network’s website under Active CoVPN Studies.


  1. NIH launches clinical trials network to test COVID-19 vaccines and other prevention tools. News release. National Institutes of Health; July 8, 2020.
  2. NIH Clinical Trial of investigational Vaccine for COVID-19 Begins. News release. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; March 16, 2020.
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