What is the current state of play for COVID-19 clinical trials?

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In the three months since COVID-19 emerged from Wuhan, China and spread around the world, over 1100 clinical studies have been registered globally on clinical trials registries, including over 500 randomised controlled trials, according to an Australian review. The experts stress that there is currently no known effective treatment for COVID-19. Focusing on trials with more than 1000 participants, the authors say the most common therapeutic agent being trialled is hydroxychloroquine (24 trials with potential sample size of over 25 000 participants), followed by lopinavir/ritonavir (7 trials) and remdesevir (5 trials). They say there are many other  drugs in pre-clinical and early phase development and these form a pipeline for future large clinical trials if these therapies prove ineffective or unsafe.

Organisation/s: Menzies School of Health Research, The University of Melbourne, The Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, John Hunter Hospital

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Media release

From: Medical Journal of Australia (MJA)

Clinical trials for the prevention and treatment of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): The current state of play

In the 3 months since COVID-19 emerged from Wuhan, China and spread around the world, over 1100 clinical studies have been registered globally on clinical trials registries, including over 500 randomised controlled trials. Such rapid development and launch of clinical trials is impressive but presents challenges, including the potential for duplication and competition. There is currently no known effective treatment for COVID-19. In order to focus on those studies most likely to influence clinical practice, we summarise currently registered randomised trials with a target sample size of at least 1000 participants (n=31). We have broken these trials into four categories: 1) prophylaxis; 2) treatment of outpatients with mild COVID-19; 3) treatment of hospitalised patients with moderate COVID-19; and 4) treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19. The most common therapeutic agent being trialled currently is hydroxychloroquine (24 trials with potential sample size of over 25 000 participants), followed by lopinavir/ritonavir (7 trials) and remdesevir (5 trials). There are many current candidate drugs in pre-clinical and early phase development and these form a pipeline for future large clinical trials if current candidate therapies prove ineffective or unsafe.”

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