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).
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.
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.
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.