The Financial Express

Coronavirus: 1,000 scientists, researchers for more trials to test antivirals, drugs

| Updated: July 03, 2020 21:14:40

Coronavirus: 1,000 scientists, researchers for more trials to test antivirals, drugs

Altogether 1,000 scientists and researchers from all over the world agreed on the need for more trials to test antivirals, immunomodulatory drugs and anti-thrombotic agents, as well as combination therapies, at different stages of Covid-19 disease.

They came to this agreement at two half-day virtual summit on July 1 and 2, organised by the World Health Organization (WHO), said a press release.

The researchers and scientists came together on a global platform to track the progress of Covid-19 Research and Development (R&D).

The virtual meeting analysed 15 vaccine trial designs from different developers, and criteria for conducting robust trials to assess safety and efficacy of vaccine candidates.

Participants discussed the use of a global, multi country, adaptive trial design, with a common DSMB, and clear criteria to advance candidates through the various stages of trials.

The researchers, developers and funders from all over the world also shared approaches and raw data freely, in a show of solidarity from the global science community.

All major research institutes carrying out trials shared their data with a view to speeding up scientific discovery and implementation of solutions.

The group reviewed the latest data from the WHO Solidarity Trial and other completed and ongoing trials for potential therapeutics: hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir and dexamethasone.

The attendants noted that most internationally funded research projects have so far favoured high-income countries, with very few funded in low- and middle-income countries.

The also highlighted the importance of the ACT-Accelerator Initiative to speed up the development and equitable deployment of COVID-19 tools.

They said more evidence has been emerging that transmission from humans to animals is occurring, namely to felines (including tigers), dogs and minks.

WHO has been gathering the latest international multilingual scientific findings and knowledge on a COVID-19 data base, and is running an international therapeutics trial – the solidarity trial.

As of July 1, nearly 5,500 patients in 39 countries had been recruited into the trial.


Overall, over 100 countries in all six WHO regions have joined or expressed an interest in joining the trial, and WHO is actively supporting them with ethical and regulatory approvals of the WHO core protocol.

They have been supported in identification of hospitals participating in the trial, training of hospital clinicians on the web-based randomisation and data system as well as shipping the trial drugs as requested by each participating country.

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