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COVID-19 studies top 3,100 globally in race for treatments and vaccines

August 29, 2020

A good indicator of the substantial global effort to develop treatments and vaccines against COVID-19 can be found in A beta version of a new feature shows that there are 3,136 registered clinical trials worldwide evaluating some aspect of treating or preventing COVID-19. The studies are planned or are being conducted across 115 countries.

21.6% (n=677/3136) of the trials include at least one U.S. location and 2.5% (n=77/3136) are supported, at least in part, by U.S. federal funding.

There are 1,042 studies assessing at least one drug intervention and number of “mapped drug names” (standardized drug names assigned by the National Library of Medicine). Of these, 29.8% (n=310/1042) include at least one U.S. location and 2.4% (n=25/1042) are supported by funding from the feds.

There are 24 studies involving Gilead Sciences’ (NASDAQ:GILD) remdesivir (GS-5734), still the only drug approved in the U.S. for emergency use to treat COVID-19.

There are 48 studies involving antiretroviral ritonavir, an HIV protease inhibitor marketed as Norvir by AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and 47 studies involving tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, sold by Roche (OTCQX:RHHBY) as Actemra (approved for arthritis, giant cell arteritis and cytokine release syndrome).

Leading the pack is malaria med hydroxychloroquine, involved in 184 studies, despite showing no benefit in earlier trials, followed by antibiotic azithromycin, involved in 69 studies (used to treat lung infections among others).

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