7 October 2008
The role of drotrecogin alfa (activated) (DAA) in severe sepsis remains controversial and clinicians are unsure whether or not to treat their patients with DAA. In response to a request from the European Medicines Agency, Eli Lilly will sponsor a new placebo-controlled trial and history suggests the results will be subject to great scrutiny. An academic steering committee will oversee the conduct of the study and will write the study manuscripts. The steering committee intends that the study will be conducted with the maximum possible transparency; this includes publication of the study protocol and a memorandum of understanding which delineates the role of the sponsor. The trial has the potential to provide clinicians with valuable data but patients will only benefit if clinicians have confidence in the conduct, analysis and reporting of the trial. This special article describes the process by which the trial was developed, major decisions regarding trial design, and plans for independent analysis, interpretation and reporting of the data.