“Solidarity” clinical trial for COVID-19 treatments

Opinions

Date: 12.01.2021

Solidarity is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, launched by the World Health Organization and partners. It is one of the largest international randomized trials for COVID-19 treatments, enrolling almost 12 000 patients in 500 hospital sites in over 30 countries.

The Solidarity Trial is evaluating the effect of drugs on 3 important outcomes in COVID-19 patients: mortality, need for assisted ventilation and duration of hospital stay.

The Solidarity Trial compares treatment options against standard of care to assess their relative effectiveness against COVID-19. By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to evaluate whether any of the drugs improve survival or reduce the need for ventilation or duration of hospital stay. Other drugs may be added based on emerging evidence.

In general, until there is sufficient evidence, WHO cautions against physicians and medical associations recommending or administering unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19 or people self-medicating with them. 

Latest update on on treatment arms

The Solidarity Trial published interim results on 15 October 2020. It found that all 4 treatments evaluated (remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir and interferon) had little or no effect on overall mortality, initiation of ventilation and duration of hospital stay in hospitalized patients.

The Solidarity Trial is considering evaluating other treatments, to continue the search for effective COVID-19 therapeutics.

So far, only corticosteroids have been proven effective against severe and critical COVID-19.

Previously, on 4 July 2020, WHO had accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms.

The International Steering Committee formulated the recommendation in light of the evidence for hydroxychloroquine vs standard-of-care and for lopinavir/ritonavir vs standard-of-care from the Solidarity Trial interim results, and from a review of the evidence from all trials presented at the 1-2 July WHO Summit on COVID-19 research and innovation. 

These interim trial results showed that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity Trial investigators interrupted the trials with immediate effect. 

For each of the drugs, the interim results did not provide solid evidence of increased mortality. There were, however, some associated safety signals in the clinical laboratory findings of the add-on Discovery trial, a participant in the Solidarity Trial. These will also be reported in the peer-reviewed publication. 

This decision applies only to the conduct of the Solidarity Trial in hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.

who.int

 

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