International Network for Strategic Initiatives in Global HIV Trials (INSIGHT): START

Investigator: Richard Price, MD
Sponsor: University of Minnesota

Location(s): Uganda; Morocco; South Africa; Mali; Nigeria; China; Japan; India; Malaysia; Thailand; Israel; Mexico; Brazil; Chile; Peru; Uruguay; Australia


INSIGHT'S mission is to develop strategies for the optimization of treatment -- antiretroviral therapies (ART), immunomodulatory therapies, and interventions to prevent and treat complications of HIV and ART - in order to prolong disease-free survival in a demographically, socio-economically, and geographically diverse population of individuals infected with HIV. The specific research emphasis will be "optimization of clinical management, including co-morbidities," and will be characterized by

1) Large randomized trials with morbidity and mortality outcomes, and where appropriate preceded by vanguard studies to refine design parameters;

2) Studies relevant to both resource-rich and resource-poor countries;

3) Studies directed at minimizing the adverse effects of long-term treatment while maximizing the benefits;

4) Studies emphasizing co-enrollment so that more than one major research question can be addressed in the cohorts under followup;

5) Mechanistic substudies as part of larger trials;

6) Carefully planned epidemiological analyses, including nested case-control studies that take advantage of a large cross-study database and associated specimen repository;and

7) Linkages with other networks to maximize efficiency and research productivity.

INSIGHT will conduct 5 or 6 large trials at approximately 400 sites in 35 countries. Through a carefully developed, cost efficient, organizational plan that emphasizes important principles - randomization, clinically relevant interventions, excellent follow-up, and centrally adjudicated outcomes, and distribution of responsibilities for international and local data quality assurance - high-quality data sets will be assembled to address important clinical management questions. The INSIGHT Coordinating and Operations Research Center (CORE) will be located at the Coordinating Centers for Biometric Research, Division of Biostatistics, School of Public Health, at the University of Minnesota. The CORE, co-located with the Network Laboratory and Statistical and Data Management Center, will take advantage of a streamlined organizational structure and the administrative support, resources, and services of the University. The absence of stand-alone, duplicative administrative functions at multiple network locations eliminates the related incremental costs, fosters a more responsive and unified network with minimal time invested in the coordination of activities by network components, and builds on the economies of scale that can be realized by combining essential activities and sharing resources.