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Clinical Trials for Covid-19 – update #2

Since January 2020 almost 860,000 people have fallen ill on COVID-19, the new disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 and more than 42,000 has died.

Scientists and clinicians are still trying to figure out how to deal with this virus and to create a new drug or vaccine which could help in the fight against it. Now across the globe, more than 200 clinical trials are recruiting, which are focused on researching drugs, vaccines or medical equipment in the hope of helping the people with COVID-19. This, however, is only just the beginning with more and more trials planned daily and at the time of this article, a similar volume of trials are in the planning stage.

At Pratia with the largest and leading network of clinical trial centers, we are closely interested in the research on the new coronavirus and the ways of dealing with it by constantly looking for new sources of reliable information.

  • One efficient approach to discover effective drugs is to test whether the existing antiviral drugs are effective in treating other related viral infections. One of those drugs is favipiravir (FPV) – antiviral drug previously used to treat influenza and Ebola virus. This is a new type of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) inhibitor. In addition to its anti-influenza virus activity, favipiravir is capable of blocking the replication of flavi-, alpha-, filo-, bunya-, arena-, noro-, and other RNA viruses. In the clinical trials which took place recently in Wuhan and Shenzhen in China, the scientists have shown significant improvement in the two groups of patients (N=116 in Wuhan, N=35 in Shenzhen). Patients have been treated with 1600 mg twice daily on day 1 and 600 mg twice daily from Day 2 until the end of the study in both clinical trials. The control groups have been treated with arbidol in Wuhan and lopinavir/ritonavir in Shenzhen. In both groups the results were similar. It was found that FPV was independently associated with faster viral clearance. Furthermore, at the end of these clinical trials, the improvement rates shown on chest CT changes in the FPV arms were significantly higher than those in the control arms.
  • Scientists from The Mediterranee Infection University Hospital Institute in Marseille, France, announced the new results of their clinical trial using hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in the treatment of COVID-19. They showed more details and analysis of the effects of the treatment. Assuming there is a 50% efficacy of hydroxychloroquine in reducing the viral load at day 7 (at day 6 based on PCR results in nasopharyngeal samples, 70% of hydroxychloroquine-treated patients were virologically cured comparing with 12.5% in the control group). Furthermore, if the patients were treated with a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, 100% of them were virologically cured.

We at Pratia are interested in sharing reliable information that could help us, our patients and partners in the fight against COVID-19! In our sites we are maintaining operations to proceed with medical innovation, re-evaluating the model we work with and putting significant attention to the safety of our patients, employees, clients and our families.



  1. Cai, Qingxian, et al. “Experimental Treatment with Favipiravir for COVID-19: An Open-Label Control Study.” Engineering, 2020, doi:10.1016/j.eng.2020.03.007.
  2. Chen, Chang, et al. “Favipiravir versus Arbidol for COVID-19: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” 2020, doi:10.1101/2020.03.17.20037432.
  3. Dong, Liying, et al. “Discovering Drugs to Treat Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).” Drug Discoveries & Therapeutics, vol. 14, no. 1, 2020, pp. 58–60., doi:10.5582/ddt.2020.01012.
  4. Gautret, Philippe, et al. “Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin as a Treatment of COVID-19: Preliminary Results of an Open-Label Non-Randomized Clinical Trial.” 2020, doi:10.1101/2020.03.16.20037135.
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