Press Releases

Rho Granted Extension by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to Study Rate of COVID-19 Infection in US Children Through April 2022

July 26, 2021

Research Triangle Park, NC – July 26, 2021 – Rho, a full-service contract research organization (CRO) with a proven track record of drug development success, today announced its Human Epidemiology and Response to SARS-CoV-2 (HEROS) study, to help determine the rate of the new coronavirus infection in children and their family members in the U.S. has been extended through April 2022. During the first year of the study, over 1,900 households containing close to 6,000 study participants were enrolled. The study is being conducted to determine what percentage of children infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, develop symptoms of the disease, as well as whether rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection differ between children who have asthma or other allergic conditions and children who do not. HEROS is sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

“Over the last year, our team has focused on doing its part to help understand the effect COVID-19 has on children, especially those with asthma and allergies,” said Dr. Laura Helms Reece, CEO, Rho. “We are pleased the NIAID has granted Rho an extension on such an important study. Our team is excited to complete this two-year study. The insights from this study should help improve public health and we are delighted to contribute.”

The following goals and tasks to be accomplished in year two include:

  • Continue to provide project management support for all aspects of the study, including maintenance of the study web portal and the scheduling and facilitation of teleconferences for all the groups previously described.
  • Clean and lock study databases and create analysis datasets for statistical analyses.
  • Provide project management, data management, statistical programming, and statistical support for manuscripts.
  • Work with NIAID and Vanderbilt University in obtaining historic study data on the index participants from the clinical sites from which these participants were identified and recruited, merge the historic study data with the current study database, and provide support for the analyses of these databases.
  • Maintain and continue to manage any stored biological samples with third-party vendor.
  • Manage the submission of four of the nine manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals, with the remainder being submitted by lead authors.
  • Provide study databases to shared data platform, ImmPORT, for public access.

Rho is participating under an administrative supplement to its Division of Allergy, Immunology, and Transplantation Statistical and Clinical Coordinating Center (DAIT SACCC) award (3UM2AI117870-06S1). The study is led by Tina V. Hartert, MD, MPH at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville. Samuel J. Arbes, Jr., DDS, MPH, Ph.D., who serves as the Asthma and Allergic Diseases Group Lead within the DAIT SACCC, will lead the research support at Rho.

As the DAIT SACCC, Rho is working closely with DAIT, Vanderbilt and other investigators to plan and execute the study design. Additionally, the CRO is providing operational management and oversight for all aspects of the study, including logistical support for biospecimen collection; collaboration with Vanderbilt to plan, implement, and monitor study data collection; timely reporting of safety events; and study data analysis and reporting.

Click here to learn more about Rho’s work on the HEROS study, as well as their clinical and regulatory support of the development of COVID-related vaccines, diagnostics, and treatments.

About Rho

Rho, a privately held contract research organization (CRO) located in NC’s Research Triangle Park, provides a full range of drug development services from program strategy through clinical trials and marketing applications. For more than 35 years, Rho has been a trusted partner to some of the industry’s most innovative pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies, as well as academic and government organizations. Rho’s cross-functional collaborative approach, therapeutic expertise, and commitment to strong site relationships changes what it means to work with a CRO – ultimately accelerating time to market, maximizing returns on investment, and ensuring a consistent program that runs smarter and more efficiently. Experience Rho by following us on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit