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Global trial to test three drugs for COVID-19 patients

Thursday August 12th 2021

Three new drugs are to be tested globally to treat hospitalised COVID-19 patients, the World Health Organization has announced.

The Solidarity PLUS trial is the next phase in the Solidarity trial and will represents the largest global collaboration among WHO Member States, involving thousands of researchers in more than 600 hospitals in 52 countries. This is 16 more countries than the first phase of trials.

The latest trial will test the efficacy of artesunate, imatinib and infliximab, which were selected by an independent expert panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in hospitalised COVID-19.

Artesunate is used to treat malaria. In the trial, it will be administered intravenously for seven days, using the standard dose recommended for the treatment of severe malaria.

Imatinib is used to treat certain cancers and will be administered to COVID-19 patients orally, once daily, for 14 days. A randomised clinical trial in the Netherlands reported that imatinib might confer clinical benefit in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, in the absence of safety issues.

Infliximab is a TNF alpha inhibitor used to treat diseases of the immune system. In the trial, it will be administered intravenously as a single dose.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: “Finding more effective and accessible therapeutics for COVID-19 patients remains a critical need, and WHO is proud to lead this global effort.”

Previously, four drugs – remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon – were evaluated by the trial, but results showed that had little or no effect on hospitalised COVID-19 patients.

[Information on the trial]

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | World Health

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