Will There Be COVID-19 Drug?
To answer this question, the World Health Organization (WHO), with its partners, has executed a clinical trial called Solidarity Trial which involves gathering international findings in search for the effective COVID-19 medication. The trial’s methodology is also adjusted for hospitals, despite manifold tasks, to join in more easily without the burden of large pa-perwork. According to the information dated 8 April 2020, up to 90 countries have already signed up for this project.
In the Solidarity Trial, four alternative medications to be compared with standard treatment include:
- Remdesivir, which is an effective antiviral drug against MERS and SARS (also caused by coronaviruses)
- Lopinavir or ritonavir, an antiviral for HIV treatment, which has not been evidently proved to be effective against MERS and SARS but in vitro trial found that the combination might be effective against COVID-19.
- Antiviral drugs (lopinavir/ritonavir) in combination with immunomodulators (interferon beta-1a)
- Antimalarial drugs like hydroxychloroquine and chloro-quine
It is expected that there will be a preliminary report in the next 3 - 4 months.
Currently, there are more than 900 clinical trials on COVID-19 being conducted over the few months after the outbreak. The question is do we need this many clinical trials for the COVID-19 medication? Should we waste more of our resources since funding has been spent on small-size trials of which the re-sults will be incomparable due to heterogeneity? Most im-portantly, for many times, it has been shown that particular drugs seemed to work well in small scale trials; in larger scale trials, proved ineffective. Thus, the ability to mutually con-duct a large-scale trial at once with international partners tends to be more advantageous.
- “Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments โดย WHO (2020)
- Mullard A. Flooded by the torrent: the COVID-19 drug pipeline. Lancet (2020). https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)30894-1/fulltext