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Over 100 Phase III readouts from COVID-19 therapies possible by 2Q21: Data Byte

Antiparasitics, immunosuppressants and antivirals top the list of molecular classes for COVID-19 therapies

Antiparasitics, immunosuppressants and antivirals top the list of molecular classes for COVID-19 therapies.

Dec 3, 2020 | 12:10 AM GMT

Against the backdrop of excitement for COVID-19 vaccines, clinical trials of treatments for infected patients have been mounting. Public databases list 252 Phase III trials of treatments for COVID-19, of which only 25 (10%) had read out as of Nov. 30.

Fifty-six of these trials have completion dates between now and the end of 1Q21, and 87 additional trials recently passed their estimated completion date, suggesting some of them will report data soon. The question is how many.

Results from some of them will surely never see the light of day, but many will lead to publications or press releases. Any trial that had been labeled terminated as of Nov. 30 was excluded from the dataset below. 

The vast majority of the agents are repurposed drugs, and a breakdown by molecular class puts antiparasitic agents at the top for the largest number of Phase III trials. Despite the failure of hydroxychloroquine in Oxford’s RECOVERY study, trials of the malaria drug still comprise 85% of the antiparasitic category; at least eight Phase III trials of hydroxychloroquine have been terminated.

Four additional antiparasitic agents are being evaluated for COVID: ivermectin, levamisole, nitazoxanide and niclosamide.

Immunosuppressants and antivirals represent the second and third most popular molecular classes for COVID-19 therapies, respectively. Apart from dexamethasone, immunosuppressants, including interferons, have yielded mixed results to date.

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