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Study Design Characteristics and Pharmacological Mechanisms in International Clinical Trials Registry Platform: Registered Clinical Trials on Antiviral Drugs for COVID-19

Authors Zhang W, Lv Y, Yang J, Chen Y, He Y, Huang J

Received 16 July 2020

Accepted for publication 20 August 2020

Published 18 September 2020 Volume 2020:14 Pages 3803—3813


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Anastasios Lymperopoulos

Weilong Zhang,1,* Yinghua Lv,1,* Juan Yang,1 Yunhui Chen,2 Yingchun He,1 Jihan Huang1

1Center for Drug Clinical Research, Institute of Interdisciplinary Integrative Medicine Research, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, People’s Republic of China; 2College of Basic Medicine, Chengdu University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Chengdu 610075, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Jihan Huang; Yingchun He
Center for Drug Clinical Research, Institute of Interdisciplinary Integrative Medicine Research, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, #1200 Cailun Road, Pudong New District, Shanghai 201203, People’s Republic of China
Tel +86 21 51322420
Email [email protected]; [email protected]

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the pharmacological mechanisms of antiviral drugs against the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the study designs in clinical trials registered with the International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP).
Methods: Clinical trials involving antiviral drugs for treating COVID-19 were retrieved from the ICTRP database. For each trial, the study design, number of participants, primary endpoints, source register, antiviral mechanism, and results were evaluated.
Results: On June 10, 2020, 145 eligible clinical trials were retrieved from the ICTRP, of which 99 (68.3%) were randomized trials, 109 (75.2%) were parallel assignment trials, 38 (26.2%) were double or single blinded, 130 (89.7%) involved two groups, and 75 (51.6%) included more than 100 participants; and clinical improvement or recovery and virus-negative conversion were the two most common endpoints, accounting for 40.7% and 18.6%, respectively. The drugs were divided according to the antiviral mechanism into HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitors, RNA-dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors, HIV protease inhibitors (PIs), hepatitis C virus NS3 PIs, and anti-influenza drugs.
Conclusion: The design characteristics of clinical trials of antiviral drugs for treating COVID-19 as well as the mechanism of action and antiviral efficacy of the drugs were evaluated in this study. The results of these trials could constitute a reference for future clinical trials to be executed on COVID-19 treatment and prevention.

Keywords: COVID-19, clinical trials as topic, antiviral agents, research design

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