UNIVERSAL General Assembly Meeting 2023

June 6, 2023

The UNIVERSAL General Assembly meeting was held from 22 to 24 May 2023, in Harare, Zimbabwe. The UNIVERSAL project aims to develop two antiretroviral fixed-dose combinations for infants and children newly diagnosed with HIV. These formulations will also benefit children living with HIV whose first-line therapy is failing and by monitoring the long-term safety and efficacy of other paediatric ART formulations, the project will provide better treatment options for children with HIV.

As the project moves forward, the discussions held on the first day set a positive tone for the future. On the basis of the pharmacokinetic models developed and the chosen antiretroviral formulations, work is continuing on the preparation of the two clinical trials that will take place in 2024 in different African countries and will also evaluate the benefits of the two new formulations. The project has continued to make progress and with a shared commitment to success, partners joined in brainstorming solutions and strategies to overcome potential obstacles, creating a spirit of unity and optimism that will serve as a driving force for the project’s progress.

On the second day of the meeting, the project’s capacity-building team launched the pilot Clinical Trial Management training course, where participants had the opportunity to engage in interactive sessions that included regulatory planning, good clinical practice, and many other important aspects of clinical trial management. The project team and partners were excited about the potential impact that this training and other planned capacity-building activities could have on improving clinical trial management practices in resource-limited settings.

Overall, the general assembly was a great success. Partners left the meeting feeling energised and optimistic about the contribution that the UNIVERSAL project can make in the treatment of HIV in children.