Report: 16 COVID-19 Clinical Trials Showing Positive Results So Far

Clinical Trial

According to the World Health Organization and, there are currently 1,114 ongoing clinical studies of treatments for COVID-19. A GlobalData analysis indicates that so far, 21 of the trials have reported interim results, and out of them, 16 showed positive early results.

Two of those studies are for Gilead Sciences’ remdesivir, which has since been granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).


“These clinical trials are in phases, with 69% of them in early stage trials (Phase I to Phase II),” says Scotty Chung-Siu, senior analyst of MPH at GlobalData. “Majority of them are investigating different drugs, either alone or combination treatments, with one using a secondary intervention. The four multinational clinical trials that are planning to enroll the most subjects are investigating remdesivir, sarilumab and bevacizumab. One of the drugs that recently had positive clinical trials results is remdesivir.”

Sarilumab is a rheumatoid arthritis drug jointly developed by Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi. It is a human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the interleukin-6 (IL-6) pathway. IL-6 is believed to play a role in the overactive inflammatory response in COVID-19 patients.

Bevacizumab, sold by Genentech under the brand name Avastin, is a cancer drug that inhibitsVascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). VEGF has been observed in higher levels in COVID-19 patients.

GlobalData notes, “Not all of the drugs had positive results. Hydroxychloroquine, an immunosuppressive drug often touted by U.S. President Donald Trump, ahs recently failed to meet endpoints and saw adverse events in a retrospective study. Moreover, the patients treated with hydroxychloroquine had a higher mortality rate. Nonetheless, the number of clinical trials investigating hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine as a primary or secondary drug continues to expand.”

Chung-Siu says, “There are two clinical trials that showed early negative results for efficacy and safety. One is a Phase III clinical trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of darunavir and cobicistat in the treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia. The other study is a Phase II clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of chloroquine for the treatment of hospitalized subjects with severe acute respiratory syndrome. Both interventional trials have the same expected end date of 31 August 2020.”

Darunavir is an antiretroviral drug for HIV marketed by Johnson & Johnson under the name Prezista, and by other names by other companies.

Cobicistat is marketed by Gilead for HIV under the name Tybost.

Other drugs on the short list include: DAS-181, an experimental drug by Ansun Biopharma that is under development for hospitalized, immunocompromised patients with lower respiratory tract parainfluenza virus infection; CytoDyn’s leronlimab, for HIV; Athersys’ MultiStem, a stem cell treatment for neurological, inflammatory and immune, and cardiovascular diseases; nitric oxide, such as Mallinckrodt’s INOmax; Kiniksa Pharmaceuticals’ mavrilimumab, an antibody that targets granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor receptor alpha; and others.

Chung-Siu concluded, “While many of the current COVID-19 clinical trials show promising early results, conclusions can only be drawn once the final data are reported. With 597 planned clinical trials, there will be more data to draw insights in the coming months and possibly a key drug candidate treatment for COVID-19 will emerge.”

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