Authors: Atiya Henry, Future Science Group
An online, open access database set up by the Anticancer Fund (ACF, Brussels, Belgium) gives details of over 200 clinical trials for COVID-19 therapeutic techniques. The database currently contains 263 clinical trials taking place worldwide and gives insight into the type of drug candidates being tested.
The Covid19db resource is compiled using information from ClinicalTrials.gov (USA), the European Clinical Trials Register and the International Clinical Trials Platform from the WHO. Some trials are testing drugs on their ability to prevent infection with SARS-CoV-2 (14.4% of trials) whereas others aim to treat those suffering from COVID-19 (82.9% of trials).
At the time of writing (9 April 2020), 65% of the trials in the Covid19db are testing repurposed drugs. The three most popular candidates are hydroxychloroquine, a medicine primarily used against malaria, tocilizumab, an immunosuppressive drug used for rheumatoid arthritis, and lopinavir/ritonavir, a combination of antivirals used against HIV.
The database, updated at least twice a week, provides an easy-to-use summary that aims to help researchers to avoid starting duplicate trials and potentially foster lab collaborations.
“We might be an organization 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”, explained Lydie Meheus, managing director of the ACF.
Although the resource is incredibly useful, it does not yet contain all of the clinical trials currently ongoing in China, which stands at over 300. The ACF is working to assess and include the full range of clinical trials in the Covid19db.
The database can be found here.