Clinical trial underway in Europe to test coronavirus treatments

The testsl' 3,200 participants are coming from Belgium, France, Germany Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the UK

A clinical trial by the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) and European partners COMBACTE, PREPARE and RECOVER was launched with plans to include 3,200 participants. The goal is to test four experimental treatments for COVID-19 - remdesivir, lopinavir and ritonavir in combination, the latter being administered with or without interferon beta and hydroxychloroquine- which according to the latest scientific information, may be effective against the virus.

“We analysed data from the scientific literature on SARS and MERS coronaviruses and the first publications on SARS-COV2 from China in order to come up with a list of antiviral molecules to be tested: remdesivir, lopinavir and ritonavir in combination, the latter being administered with or without interferon beta and hydroxychloroquine.

The list of these potential drugs is also based on the subset of experimental treatments classified as top priorities by the World Health Organization,” read a statement by Florence Ader, infectiologist in the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Department of the Crois-Rousse Hospital of Lyon University, who is leading the study. Ader says the trial, named Discovery, will have an ‘adaptive’ method that will allow them to quickly rule out ineffective treatments and zero in on effective ones.

“The great strength of this trial is its ‘adaptive’ nature. This means that ineffective experimental treatments can very quickly be dropped and replaced by other molecules that emerge from research efforts. We will therefore be able to make changes in real time, in line with the most recent scientific data, in order to find the best treatment for our patients,” he said.

The trial’s 3,200 participants are all European, coming from Belgium, France, Germany Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. All participants will be people who have been hospitalised with COVID-19. The trial is an open one, so both patients and doctors will know which treatment modalities have ben used. The treatments themselves wil bve determined by random draw.

According to the press release, the trial will have five modalities: Standard of care, standard of care plus remdesivir, standard of care plus lopinavir and ritonavir, standard of care plus lopinavir, ritonavir and interferon beta, standard of care plus hydroxy-chloroquine. The analysis of treatment efficacy and safety will be evaluated 15 days after the inclusion of each patient.

More on this subject: Coronavirus

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