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More than 200 trials to fight COVID-19 worldwide

More than 200 trials to fight COVID-19 worldwide

Brussels – The Anticancer Fund has produced an overview of the interventional clinical trials ongoing in COVID-19. The Covid19db is an easy to use open-access online database.

So far we have identified 211 clinical trials registered to fight COVID-19, with 85 different drugs involved. This is an impressive figure, as the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a COVID-19 pandemic less than a month ago, on 11 March 2020.

These trials plan to include more than 215,000 participants, including 78,000 infected patients and 137,000 at risk of becoming infected.

There are 28 trials (13% of total) to prevent people from being infected with the virus SARS-CoV-2 and 178 therapeutic trials (84%) designed to treat people already infected with the coronavirus and suffering from COVID-19. Five trials have another purpose (eg supportive care).

34 countries are involved in on-going or pending trials so far.

By making its database public the Anticancer Fund wants to alert researchers to the wide range of hypotheses being explored around the world. With so many trials being developed in such a short timeframe duplication of effort is a huge risk.

The Anticancer Fund decided to bring information together in one place so that researchers could see at a glance what trials are ongoing or in preparation - helping to reduce the chance of duplicated trials. Ideally this should result in more collaborations around the world.

The COVID-19 database will be updated regularly, at least twice a week. The list provided is based on the trials registered in (USA), the European Clinical Trials Register and the International Clinical Trials Platform from the World Health Organisation (WHO) (*).

The focus is on existing drugs

It should be noted that 65% of the ongoing trials include repurposed drugs, or existing medicines that are already on the market to treat other diseases. Drug repurposing or drug repositioning is a cost-efficient way to find new treatment options and researchers can move forward very quickly as the drugs are already tested on safety.

“We might be an organisation focused on cancer treatments and cancer patients, we are nevertheless deeply concerned by the impact of the coronavirus and we want to contribute to a solution. We feel it’s our social responsibility to apply our skills in clinical research with repurposed drugs to this disease and therefore hand researchers, clinicians and regulators a filtered listing, easy to read through”, said Lydie Meheus, managing director of the Anticancer Fund.

The three most popular drug candidates for treatment or prevention of COVID-19 are hydroxychloroquine, a medicine used against malaria and some auto-immune diseases, lopinavir/ritonavir, a combination of antivirals designed to treat HIV, and tocilizumab, a therapy for rheumatoid arthritis.

Link to the database:
Summary of the data:

(*) The full range of clinical trials ongoing in China are not yet included in our COVID-19 database so far, as there are many - more than 300 - and these trials must be assessed and coded for inclusion. However, work is continuing to incorporate the full set of trials into Covid19db.

Important note: the list includes trials of drugs that, based on their scientific properties, warrant further scientific investigation. This list is not intended to be used as a source for possible treatment options for patients.