Large Clinical Trial to Study Repurposed Drugs to Treat COVID-19 Symptoms

Creative rendition of SARS-CoV-2 virus particles. Note: not to scale.

Using an ACTIV master protocol, the trial will focus on potential interventions for mild-to-moderate illness

The National Institutes of Health will fund a large, randomized, placebo controlled Phase 3 clinical trial to test several existing prescription and over-the-counter medications for people to self-administer to treat symptoms of COVID-19. Part of the Accelerating COVID 19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) public–private partnership, the ACTIV-6 trial aims to provide evidence-based treatment options for the majority of adult patients with COVID-19 who have mild-to-moderate symptoms and are not sick enough to be hospitalized. NIH will provide an initial investment of $155 million in funding for the trial.

“While we’re doing a good job with treating hospitalized patients with severe disease, we don’t currently have an approved medication that can be self-administered to ease symptoms of people suffering from mild disease at home, and reduce the chance of their needing hospitalization,” said NIH Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “ACTIV-6 will evaluate whether certain drugs showing promise in small trials can pass the rigor of a larger trial.”

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