WHO’s Solidarity trial shows repurposed drugs for Covid-19 are ineffective

16th October 2020 (Last Updated October 16th, 2020 15:57)

World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that interim data from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial of remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir / ritonavir and interferon regimens showed the drugs have little or no effect on the outcome of Covid-19.

WHO’s Solidarity trial shows repurposed drugs for Covid-19 are ineffective
The drugs did not reduce 28-day mortality or in-hospital course among hospitalised patients. Credit: Jernej Furman.

World Health Organization (WHO) has reported that interim data from the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial of remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir / ritonavir and interferon regimens showed the drugs have little or no effect on the outcome of Covid-19.

The largest randomised control trial coordinated by WHO for 28 days found the drugs did not have an effect on mortality or the in-hospital course among hospitalised patients with Covid-19.

The study, conducted in 405 hospitals in 30 countries, enrolled approximately 11,266 adults, Firstpost reported.

In the trial, 2,750 participants received remdesivir, 954 received hydroxychloroquine, 1,411 received Lopinavir, 651 received Interferon plus Lopinavir, 1,412 Interferon and 4,088 received placebo.

The trial analysed the effects of these treatments on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay in hospitalised patients. 

Other uses of the drugs including treating patients in the community or for prevention will take place in different trials.

As hydroxychloroquine had no positive effects on Covid-19 infected patients, the WHO, the US FDA, Oxford University and other countries discontinued their ongoing trials. 

WHO discontinued the trial of lopinavir plus ritonavir in July after reviewing its progress in interim results.

WHO said in a statement: “The progress achieved by the Solidarity Therapeutics Trial shows that large international trials are possible, even during a pandemic, and offer the promise of quickly and reliably answering critical public health questions concerning therapeutics.”

Moreover, the trial will next rapidly analyse other potential treatment options with nearly 500 hospitals open as trial sites.

The study plans to conduct a trial on novel antiviral drugs, immunomodulators and anti-SARS COV-2 monoclonal antibodies.

WHO chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan said that the other trials continued as planned.