On Friday March 20, 2020, the World
Health Organization (WHO) announced a large global trial, called SOLIDARITY, to
find out whether any can treat infections with the new coronavirus for the
dangerous respiratory disease. It’s an unprecedented effort—an all-out,
coordinated push to collect robust scientific data rapidly during a pandemic.
The study, which could include many thousands of patients in dozens of
countries, has been designed to be as simple as possible so that even hospitals
overwhelmed by an onslaught of COVID-19 patients can participate.
With about 15% of
COVID-19 patients suffering from severe disease and hospitals being
overwhelmed, treatments are desperately needed. So rather than coming up with
compounds from scratch that may take years to develop and test, researchers and
public health agencies are looking to repurpose drugs already approved for
other diseases and known to be largely safe. They’re also looking at unapproved
drugs that have performed well in animal studies with the other two deadly
coronaviruses, which cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle
East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
Study Details and Add-Ons
The design is...
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