Rutgers and Marken Team for COVID-19 Trails

May 6, 2020

UPS and Marken are delivering serial biospecimens (nasopharyngeal swabs and blood) to the Rutgers lab facilities. Healthcare workers can voluntarily enroll in a natural history cohort which will test antiviral therapies for participants potentially exposed to COVID-19. The cohort is being offered at 4 command sites at Rutgers Cancer Institute, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, and University Hospital in Newark.

Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS) has sponsored the largest COVID-19 observational study in the US by successfully recruiting 839 healthcare workers in order to recognize asymptomatic cases at their earliest point. The goal is to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and focus on the safety of healthcare workers and impacted hospital staff. If the tests show positive infection, whether asymptomatic or symptomatic, the workers can be enrolled in a follow-on clinical trial. Marken will also support the follow-on trial with the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey. The trial examines a potential treatment using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and the antibiotic azithromycin for patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and is not limited to cancer patients.

“This is a ground-breaking study that went from concept to full recruitment in 14 days. Such a monumental task could not have been accomplished without an incredibly dedicated team of investigators and our Marken and UPS Express Critical® colleagues who have provided critical logistics,” says Dr. Reynold A. Panettieri, Vice Chancellor of Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University.

“This clinical trial is an important part of the global fight against COVID-19. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey has the infrastructure to carry out this work, and we are proud to contribute our expertise. We are grateful for Marken’s support to ensure timely delivery of bio samples collected as part of the trial,” notes Rutgers Cancer Institute Director Steven K. Libutti, MD, FACS, who is also Senior Vice President, Oncology Services, RWJBarnabas Health and Vice Chancellor, Cancer Programs, Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences.

Ariette van Strien, President of Marken commented, “We are honored to offer our services in kind as part of this study and incredibly proud to have been chosen by RBHS to be their supply chain provider for this cohort. We are leading the way in patient-centric supply chain solutions with Direct to Patient and Direct from Patient services. We will continue to set standards which enable patients to participate in these types of initiatives, now and going forward, anywhere in the world.”

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