WHO launches clinical trial in 10 countries to find COVID-19 treatment

The World Health Organization is launching a multicountry clinical trial in hopes of speeding up the discovery of drugs to treat COVID-19, according to STAT

The trial will test four drugs or drug combinations that are already approved to treat other illnesses. Ten countries have agreed to take part in the trial so far, and WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he hopes other countries join. 

The countries participating are Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand.

The Solidarity trial will test whether any of the drugs reduce mortality rates, the time a patient is in the hospital and whether patients receiving the drugs need ventilation or intensive care units, according to STAT

The drugs being tested are Gilead's remdesivir; a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, which are both HIV drugs made by AbbVie; a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir with interferon beta; and an antimalarial drug called chloroquine. 

The last time the WHO launched a similar clinical trial was during the Ebola outbreak in 2018, STAT reported. 

"Multiple small trials with different methodologies may not give us the clear strong evidence we need about which treatments help to save lives," the WHO director-general said during a briefing in Geneva, according to STAT.

Read the full article here

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