China cancels about 40 COVID-19 clinical trials as epidemic ebbs - (Global Times via NewsPoints Desk)

  • Approximately 40 COVID-19-related clinical trials have been terminated in China, including those for Gilead Sciences' remdesivir, mainly because China says it has curbed the rising trend of the epidemic, and most patients have either been cured and discharged from hospitals, reported The Global Times.

  • China's top respiratory specialist Zhong Nanshan indicated that there is almost no opportunity for large-scale clinical drug trials for COVID-19 in China.

  • As of April 16, 598 novel coronavirus-related clinical trials had been approved in China, with a maximum of 32 in one day, while some 40 had been canceled. Globally, COVID-19 clinical trials increased from 927 on April 7 to 1135 on April 16, the news source said.

  • According to Zhong, the "first wave of the outbreak has ended, and we have well controlled the second wave, especially with the stringent prevention and control measures."

  • Among the approved trials in China, 27 were related to the HIV treatments ritonavir and lopinavir, and some were related to the influenza medication arbidol, although Zhong said treatments using lopinavir and arbidol had not been effective for COVID-19 patients, and a stricter approval mechanism is needed for such trials.  

  • A clinical trial of remdesivir for treatment of COVID-19 involving mild or moderate cases has been suspended in China for the reason that the waning outbreak made it impossible to enroll enough eligible patients, according to the ClinicalTrials.gov website.

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