CADTH COVID News identifies emerging information on health technologies being investigated for the management or prevention of COVID-19.  The intent is to provide a quick alert of a news item of interest and is only current as of posting. As research is rapidly evolving, CADTH will monitor these topics and update information as needed.


Updated on October 30, 2020 | 4:35pm

SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies

On October 28, 2020, preliminary results were announced from a US study investigating REGN-COV2 (a combination of the monoclonal antibodies REGN10933 and REGN10987) for the treatment of COVID-19 in outpatients who are symptomatic or asymptomatic. This study (NCT04425629) is a phase II/III randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial to evaluate REGN-COV2 administered intravenously. The study is expected to ultimately include more than 2,000 patients. The preliminary results included 524 patients; results for the first 275 patients were previously released. The primary end point — the average daily change in viral load through day 7 (mean time-weighted average change from baseline) — was statistically significantly lower in the REGN-COV2 group compared with the placebo group. The mean time-weighted average change in viral load from baseline through day 7 in patients with a detectable viral load at baseline was a 0.36 log10 copies/mL greater reduction with REGN-COV2 compared with placebo (P = 0.0003 for both dose groups). These results should be interpreted with caution until the full study results are published in a peer-reviewed journal.

On October 28, 2020, results from the preplanned interim analysis of the bamlanivimab monotherapy arms of the BLAZE-1 study were published. The BLAZE-1 study (NCT04427501) is a US-based, multi-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II study to evaluate the SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies bamlanivimab (also known as LY-CoV555 or LY3819253) and etesevimab (also known as LY-CoV016) for the treatment of outpatients with mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19. The results reported in this publication are for 452 patients who received one of three doses of bamlanivimab (700 mg, 2,800 mg, or 7,000 mg) or placebo. The primary end point was change from baseline in viral load at day 11. A statistically significant difference in the decrease from baseline viral load compared with placebo was observed for the 2,800 mg dose, but not for the 700 mg or 7,000 mg doses. The authors caution that viral load at day 11 may not be a clinically meaningful end point because viral load was reduced from baseline in all patients, including those receiving placebo. Caution should be exercised in interpreting any interim study results. The BLAZE-1 study is ongoing with an anticipated study completion date of January 15, 2021.

On October 26, 2020, the National Institute of Health (NIH) announced that the LY-CoV555 (also known as bamlanivimab or LY3819253) substudy of the ACTIV-3 trial for the treatment of COVID-19 would no longer be recruiting patients due to a low likelihood of efficacy. The ACTIV-3 trial (NCT04501978) is a multi-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase III trial with an adaptive design to evaluate different therapeutic agents (in addition to the standard of care, including remdesivir), for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients. The primary study end point was clinical response using an ordinal scale at day 5. The ACTIV-3 trial is adaptive, so additional arms will open with other drugs, with an expected sample size of 10,000. Until the full study results are published in a peer-reviewed journal, no conclusions can be drawn from this information. ACTIV-3 is part of the Accelerating COVID-19 Therapeutic Interventions and Vaccines (ACTIV) program of the NIH.

CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in managing COVID-19.

Updated on October 9, 2020 | 11:20am

Bamlanivimab and Etesevimab: SARS-CoV-2 Neutralizing Antibodies

On October 7, 2020, interim analysis results were released from a US study of the SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies LY-CoV555 (bamlanivimab) and LY-CoV016 (etesevimab) for the treatment of COVID-19. BLAZE-1 (NCT04427501) is a multi-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II study to evaluate bamlanivimab and etesevimab (administered intravenously) for the treatment of outpatients with mild or moderate symptoms of COVID-19 and a positive SARS-CoV-2 test within three days of infusion. The study is expected to have 800 patients across all treatment arms, including three monotherapy bamlanivimab arms, one combination bamlanivimab and etesevimab arm, and a placebo arm. The interim analysis included results from 268 patients who participated in the combination bamlanivimab and etesevimab arm and the placebo arm. The primary end point — viral load at day 11 — was statistically significantly reduced in patients in the bamlanivimab and etesevimab arm compared with those in the placebo arm, although specific data were not reported. Caution should be exercised in interpreting any interim study results. The BLAZE-1 study is ongoing, and until the full study results are published in a peer-reviewed journal, no conclusions can be drawn from this information.


Updated on October 27, 2020 | 1:35pm

Remdesivir

On October 22, 2020, the US FDA approved remdesivir in adults and pediatric patients 12 years and older for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Previously, the FDA issued Emergency Use Authorizations on May 1, 2020, and on August 28, 2020 for hospitalized patients with severe disease and moderate disease, respectively. Remdesivir has been approved in Canada since July 27, 2020 when Health Canada issued a Notice of Compliance with conditions to use remdesivir for the treatment of severe COVID-19 in adults and adolescents 12 years and older who have pneumonia and require supplemental oxygen therapy. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to remdesivir in managing COVID-19.

Updated on October 22, 2020 | 3:00pm

On October 9, 2020, final results of the phase III, adaptive, international, double-blind, placebo-controlled Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-1) (N = 1, 062) were published. In ACTT-1, remdesivir was compared with placebo in hospitalized adults with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and with evidence of a lower respiratory tract infection. Approximately 90% of patients had severe disease. The primary outcome was the time to recovery during the 28 days after enrolment (based on meeting criteria for category 1, 2, or 3 on an eight-category ordinal scale). The median time to recovery was shorter in patients who received remdesivir than with placebo (10 days versus 15 days), with a statistically significant rate ratio for recovery of 1.29 (95% confidence interval, 1.12 to 1.49). Mortality over the entire study period was not different between remdesivir and placebo, based on Kaplan–Meier estimates. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to remdesivir in COVID-19 and update the health technology review on remdesivir to include the published results of ACTT-1.

Updated on September 29, 2020 | 3:00pm

CADTH assessed four randomized controlled trials as part of a health technology review on remdesivir. On August 21, 2020, the results of the phase III, international, multi-centre, open-label, randomized controlled GS-US-540-5774 study were published that compared patients with moderate COVID-19 who received remdesivir (five-day course or 10-day course), with standard of care alone.  The odds of improvement in clinical status at day 11 was statistically significantly higher in the five-day remdesivir group compared with the standard of care group (odds ratio = 1.65; 95% confidence interval 1.09 to 2.48, P = 0.02). However, there was no statistical difference in the odds of improvement in clinical status between the 10-day remdesivir group compared with standard of care. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to remdesivir in COVID-19.

Updated on July 30, 2020 | 4:37pm

Remdesivir is an antiviral medication that is the first drug approved by Health Canada for COVID-19. This decision was issued on July 27, 2020 and is an authorization with conditions to prescribe remdesivir for the treatment of COVID-19 in patients with pneumonia who require oxygen therapy. CADTH assessed four randomized controlled trials as part of a health technology review on remdesivir and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to remdesivir in COVID-19.


Updated on October 27, 2020 | 10:55am

Convalescent Plasma

On October 20, 2020, the results of a randomized controlled trial of convalescent plasma in the management of moderate COVID-19 (PLACID) were published. The PLACID trial is an open-label phase II, multi-centre, randomized controlled trial for patients hospitalized with moderate COVID-19. There were 464 patients included from 39 hospitals in India. There was no statistically significant difference between the treatment groups in terms of the primary outcome of a composite of a progression to severe disease, or 28-day mortality; 19% in the convalescent plasma group and 18% in the standard of care group experienced this outcome by day 28. There are ongoing trials investigating convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19. CADTH has previously reported on the evidence evaluating the use of convalescent plasma for managing COVID-19, and will continue to monitor this evidence.

Updated on August 25, 2020 | 10:45am

On August 19, 2020, the FDA’s plan to issue an emergency authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 was put on hold due to emerging data. However, the FDA has now (on August 23, 2020) issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for investigational convalescent plasma to treat patients hospitalized with suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19. Although clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of convalescent plasma for the treatment of COVID-19 remain ongoing, the FDA’s EUA is based on an extensive review of available evidence and is meant to facilitate emergency access to convalescent plasma treatment for patients with COVID-19.

Updated on August 21, 2020 | 3:35pm

On August 19, 2020, it was reported that the FDA’s plan to issue an emergency authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19 has been put on hold. This decision was reportedly based on emerging data from a study involving patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19, who were participating in a US-based Expanded Access Program (n = 35,322). In this study (currently released in preprint), the authors reported that plasma transfusion within three days of a COVID-19 diagnosis was associated with lower seven-day and 30-day mortality rates compared with plasma transfusion four or more days after a COVID-19 diagnosis. However, this study was not randomized and has not been peer-reviewed. In Canada, access to convalescent plasma is currently only available through participation in clinical trials and is the responsibility of Canadian Blood Services and Héma-Québec. CADTH has conducted a Technology Review of convalescent plasma for COVID-19 and will update this report on a monthly basis as data continue to emerge.


Updated on October 23, 2020 | 1:15pm

Tocilizumab

On October 20, 2020, two randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of tocilizumab for the treatment of COVID-19 were published. The CORIMUNO-19-TOCI-1 trial is a multi-centre, open-label RCT that compared tocilizumab plus standard of care (SoC) to SoC alone for the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia requiring oxygen but not ventilation, and had a World Health Organization Clinical Progression Scale (WHO-CPS) score of 5. There were 130 patients included from nine centres in France. There were two primary end points: the proportion of patients with scores higher than 5 on the WHO-CPS on day 4, and survival without need for ventilation at day 14. The proportion of patients achieving a WHO-CPS score greater than 5 at day 4 did not meet the 95% pre-specified efficacy threshold for negative absolute risk difference. A total of 24% of patients in the tocilizumab plus SoC group and 36% of patients in the SoC alone group required ventilation or died by day 14 (median posterior hazard ratio: 0.58; 90% credible interval, 0.33 to 1.00), with a posterior probability of a hazard ratio of less than 1 of 95.05%. This met the pre-specified efficacy threshold of greater than 95%. There were 44% patients in the tocilizumab plus SoC group and 54% in the SoC alone group who experienced adverse events.

The RCT-TCZ-COVID-19 trial is a multi-centre, open-label RCT that compared tocilizumab to SoC for the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who required oxygen by nasal cannula but did not require intensive care unit (ICU)-level care and were still eligible to receive ICU treatment. There were 126 patients included from 24 centres in Italy. The primary end point was a composite of the development of a ratio of partial pressure of arterial oxygen to fraction of inspired oxygen of less than 150 mm Hg, ICU admission, or death. The trial was terminated early for futility, as there was no difference between the groups in the primary end point. There were more adverse events in the tocilizumab group (23%) than in the standard care group (11%).

On October 21, 2020 a third RCT of tocilizumab was published. The BACC Bay Tocilizumab Trial is a double-blind, placebo-controlled RCT that compared tocilizumab to placebo for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and who may have been receiving oxygen but not ventilation. There were 243 patients included from seven centres in the US. There was no difference between the groups in the primary end point, which was intubation or death. There was more neutropenia in the tocilizumab group than in the placebo group but fewer serious infections.

CADTH completed a Health Technology Review on tocilizumab (August 25, 2020), and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to this drug for managing COVID-19.

Updated on September 23, 2020 | 4:55pm

On September 18, 2020, a press release was made available about the results of a study of tocilizumab for the treatment of COVID-19 (EMPACTA, NCT04372186). A multi-centre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial that compared tocilizumab to placebo (in addition to standard of care) for the treatment of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 pneumonia was conducted. There were 389 patients enrolled from the US, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. The primary end point — progression to mechanical ventilation or death by day 28 — occurred in 12.2% in the tocilizumab arm versus 19.3% in the placebo arm. The hazard ratio was 0.56; 95% confidence interval: 0.32 to 0.97. There was no statistically significant difference between the groups for time to hospital discharge, time to improvement, time to clinical failure, or mortality. Common adverse events reported included constipation, anxiety, and headache. Until the full study results are published in a peer-reviewed journal, no conclusions can be drawn from this information.

Updated on September 9, 2020 | 11:16am

CADTH completed a Health Technology Review on tocilizumab, and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to this drug for managing COVID-19.

Updated on July 27, 2020 | 13:30pm

Tocilizumab, an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist, is indicated for cytokine release syndrome and for various rheumatological disorders in Canada. A phase III international trial, COVACTA (including Canadian sites) is under way investigating tocilizumab compared to placebo in patients with COVID-19 (NCT04320615). Randomized controlled trials are ongoing and CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in COVID-19.


Updated on October 23, 2020 | 11:40am

Intravenous Immune Globulin

Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) is a concentrated form of human immune globulin produced from donor plasma that is indicated in Canada for several immune-mediated conditions. On October 21, 2020 the results of a randomized controlled trial were published evaluating IVIG for the treatment of patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19. The trial is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted at a single centre in Iran. There were 59 patients included in the trial. Although this trial is a pilot study and authors do not state what the primary study outcome is, the in-hospital mortality rate in the IVIG group was 20%, with 48% in the placebo group (P = 0.022). CADTH has produced a report, Ongoing Trials of Plasma-Based Therapies for the Treatment of COVID-19 (updated on September 24, 2020), and will continue to monitor emerging evidence for the use of plasma products, including IVIG for the treatment of COVID-19.


Updated on October 16, 2020 | 2:00pm

WHO Solidarity Trial: Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Hydroxychloroquine, Interferon Beta-1a

On October 15, 2020, interim study results from the World Health Organization’s Solidarity Trial were released in pre-print (ISRCTN83971151). The Solidarity Trial is a large, international, adaptive, open-label, randomized controlled trial launched by the World Health Organization and other partners to evaluate several treatments for COVID-19. The interim results report on the findings of four separate treatments compared with local standard of care in hospitalized patients with COVID-19: remdesivir, lopinavir and ritonavir, interferon beta-1a, and hydroxychloroquine. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality. The intention-to-treat analyses included 11,255 patients enrolled from 405 hospitals in 30 countries, including Canada. No treatment had a statistically significant reduction in 28-day in-hospital mortality compared with its control. Caution should be exercised in interpreting any interim study results. In addition, pre-print reports have not been peer-reviewed. Publication of full study results in a peer-reviewed journal are pending.


Updated on October 9, 2020 | 11:40am

Baricitinib

Baricitinib is a Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor, a selective immunosuppressant, indicated in Canada for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. On October 8, 2020, preliminary results of the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT-2) sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) for the treatment of COVID-19 were released. The phase III study is a multi-centre, adaptive, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial where new arms can be added over time; the trial will compare different therapies to standard of care in patients hospitalized with COVID-19. The results described here compare baricitinib plus remdesivir versus remdesivir alone (in addition to standard of care). The primary end point — median days to recovery (defined as being well enough for hospital discharge) — was seven days in the baricitinib plus remdesivir arm versus eight days in the remdesivir only arm, incidence rate ratio: 1.16; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 1.32. Although safety information for ACTT-2 was not reported as part of the preliminary results, serious infections, thrombosis, malignancies, and other adverse effects have been reported with the use of baricitinib. Until the full study results are published in a peer-reviewed journal, no conclusions can be drawn from this information. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to baricitinib in managing COVID-19.


Updated on October 9, 2020 | 11:20am

Lopinavir-ritonavir

On October 5, 2020, the results of the lopinavir-ritonavir arm of the Randomised Evaluation of Covid-19 therapy (RECOVERY) trial were published. The RECOVERY trial is a large open-label randomized controlled platform trial including several investigational arms for patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the UK. This paper reports the comparison between lopinavir-ritonavir in addition to standard of care (1,616 patients) and standard of care alone (3,424 patients). There was no statistical difference between the treatment groups in terms of the primary outcome of 28-day mortality; 23% in the lopinavir-ritonavir group and 22% in the standard of care group died by day 28. There were no differences between groups for any pre-specified subgroup analyses, or for any secondary end points (time to hospital discharge, proportion of patients discharged from hospital, and a composite of invasive mechanical ventilation or death for those who did not start the study on mechanical ventilation). CADTH has previously reported on the evidence evaluating the use of lopinavir-ritonavir for managing COVID-19.

Updated on August 25, 2020 | 10:45am

CADTH has completed a Health Technology Review on lopinavir-ritonavir and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to this drug combination for managing COVID-19

Updated on July 27, 2020 | 1:30pm

The co-formulation of lopinavir-ritonavir is an antiretroviral drug indicated for the treatment of HIV-1 in Canada . There are published and ongoing randomized controlled trials investigating lopinavir-ritonavir to potentially manage COVID-19. On June 29, 2020, the RECOVERY study Steering Committee discontinued randomization in the lopinavir-ritonavir treatment arm based on no benefit. On July 4, 2020, the Solidarity Trial established by WHO discontinued the lopinavir-ritonavir treatment arm due to a lack of efficacy. CADTH will continue to monitor emerging evidence related to antiretroviral drugs in COVID-19.


Updated on October 9, 2020 | 10:30am

COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Testing Device: PANBIO COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test

On October 5, 2020, Health Canada authorized the Abbott Rapid Diagnostics PANBIO COVID-19 Ag antigen testing rapid test device. The Panbio COVID-19 Ag is the first antigen test authorized by Health Canada for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The device is authorized for use at the point of care and can be administered by trained professionals outside of a laboratory in settings like pharmacies, walk-in clinics, or doctors’ offices. The test can provide results in less than 20 minutes. The Government of Canada has arranged to procure up to 20.5 million of the rapid antigen tests. Additional point-of-care rapid antigen tests for SARS-CoV-2 are currently under evaluation by Health Canada. CADTH has completed a Horizon Scan report on rapid point-of-care antigen testing for SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Updated on October 5, 2020 | 1:00pm

Covid-19 Rapid Testing Device: ID NOW

On September 30, 2020, Health Canada approved the Abbott ID NOW rapid COVID-19 testing device. ID NOW is approved for use in the laboratory and at the point-of-care for the analysis of samples collected by trained professionals. The device can provide results in less than 15 minutes. The Government of Canada has arranged to procure 7.9 million of the molecular point-of-care tests and up to 3,800 analyzers to provide access to this rapid testing option across the country.


COVID-19 Vaccines: Government of Canada Announcement

Updated on September 28, 2020 | 5:35pm

On September 25, 2020, the Government of Canada announced a new agreement to secure up to 20 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine candidate AZD1222, which is being developed by AstraZeneca. This agreement adds to five previous ones that have been put in place to establish a guaranteed supply of potential COVID-19 vaccines for Canadians: the protein subunit vaccine candidate by Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline (up to 72 million doses); Ad26.COV2.S by Johnson & Johnson (up to 38 million doses); NVX-CoV2373 by Novavax (up to 76 million doses); BNT162 by Pfizer (up to 20 million doses); and mRNA-1273 by Moderna (up to 56 million doses). Clinical trials are still underway to evaluate the efficacy and safety of these vaccines for the prevention of COVID-19, and Health Canada regulatory approval will be required for each vaccine before it is made available to Canadians.

Updated on August 14, 2020 | 3:45pm

On August 5, 2020, the Government of Canada announced that it has entered into two agreements to secure a future supply of COVID-19 vaccines. An agreement has been made with Pfizer for its BNT162 mRNA-based vaccine candidate and another agreement has been made with Moderna for its mRNA-1273 vaccine candidate. While all potential vaccine candidates will require Health Canada regulatory approval before they are available to Canadians, this move establishes a guaranteed supply of millions of doses of the two previously mentioned vaccines for COVID-19. The government has indicated that other negotiations, investments, and procurement plans are underway.


Updated on September 9, 2020 | 11:18am

Sarilumab

CADTH completed a Horizon Scan on sarilumab, and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to this drug for managing COVID-19.

Updated on July 27, 2020 | 13:30pm

Sarilumab is an interleukin-6 receptor antagonist indicated for rheumatoid arthritis in Canada and has been identified as a potential option to treat COVID-19. On July 2, 2020, the phase III cohort 2 (NCT04315298) of patients with COVID-19 that required mechanical ventilation failed to meet primary and key secondary end points and the trial was stopped. There are ongoing randomized controlled trials investigating sarilumab monotherapy versus placebo or standard of care for the treatment of COVID-19. CADTH will continue to monitor emerging evidence related to interleukin-6 receptor antagonists in COVID-19.


Updated on September 8, 2020 | 15:35am

Azithromycin

Azithromycin is a macrolide antibiotic indicated in Canada to treat bacterial infections, such as community acquired pneumonia or skin infections. On September 4, 2020, a multicentre, open-label randomized controlled trial was published comparing azithromycin (oral or intravenous) plus standard of care to standard of care alone (including hydroxychloroquine) for 447 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Brazil who required nasal oxygen at 4 L/min, high flow oxygen or mechanical ventilation. There was no statistically significant difference between the treatment groups in terms of the primary outcome of the clinical status at 15 days post randomization. There are ongoing trials investigating azithromycin for the treatment of COVID-19. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to azithromycin in managing COVID-19.


Updated on September 4, 2020 | 11:05am

Systemic Corticosteroids

On September 2, 2020, the results of three randomized controlled trials examining the effect of systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of severe COVID-19 were published: the CAPE-COVID trial, the CoDEX trial, and the REMAP-CAP COVID-19 corticosteroid domain trial. In addition, a prospective meta-analysis of seven randomized controlled trials (including the three new trials and the RECOVERY trial) was published. The authors of the meta-analysis concluded that for critically ill patients with COVID-19, the use of systemic corticosteroids was associated with lower 28-day all-cause mortality when compared to placebo or usual care. WHO released a living guidance document that currently provides a strong recommendation for the use of systemic corticosteroids for the treatment of patients with severe and critical COVID-19. At this time, Health Canada recommends that clinicians strongly consider the use of intravenous dexamethasone (or an equivalent glucocorticoid dose) for patients who have COVID-19 and require oxygen or mechanical ventilation. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to corticosteroids in managing COVID-19.


Updated on September 2, 2020 | 12:15pm

Interferon Beta-1b

Interferon Beta-1b is an immunomodulator indicated in Canada for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. On August 24, 2020, the results of a study on interferon beta-1b for the treatment of COVID-19 were published. The study was a small open-label, single-centre, randomized controlled trial that compared standard of care with standard of care plus interferon beta-1b for the treatment of patients hospitalized with severe COVID-19 in Iran. There were 80 patients randomized, but data are presented for the 66 patients who completed the trial. The primary end point — median time to clinical improvement (two-point improvement on a six-point ordinal scale) — was nine days (interquartile range six days to 10 days) in the interferon group plus standard of care versus 11 days in the standard of care group (interquartile range nine days to 15 days) respectively, P = 0.002, hazard ratio = 2.30; 95% confidence interval: 1.33 to 3.39. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to interferon beta-1b in managing COVID-19.


Updated on September 1, 2020 | 12:55pm

Interferon Beta-1a

Interferon beta-1a is an immunomodulator indicated in Canada for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. On August 20, 2020, a small, single-centre (Iran), open-label randomized controlled trial was published comparing interferon beta 1a to standard of care for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. There was no statistical difference between the treatment groups in terms of the primary outcome of the time to clinical response. There are ongoing trials investigating different types of interferons for the treatment of COVID-19. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to interferon beta-1a in managing COVID-19.


Updated on August 24, 2020 | 3:30pm

Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine

CADTH has completed a Health Technology Review on chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to these drugs for managing COVID-19.

Favipiravir

CADTH has completed a Horizon Scan on Favipiravir and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to this drug for managing COVID-19.


Updated on August 13, 2020 | 1:33pm

Hydroxychloroquine

On July 23, 2020, the results of a study on hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19 were published. The study was an open-label, multi-centre randomized controlled trial that compared standard of care, hydroxychloroquine plus standard of care, and hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin plus standard of care for the treatment of patients hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 in Brazil (n = 667). There was no statistically significant difference between the groups in terms of the primary outcome of clinical status at day 15; however, there were more adverse effects (including prolonged QT interval and elevated liver enzymes) in the hydroxychloroquine groups. CADTH will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine in managing COVID-19.


Updated on July 27, 2020 | 1:30pm

Favipiravir

Favipiravir is an oral antiviral drug that has emerged as a potential treatment or prevention option for COVID-19. An international expert panel issued a weak recommendation for not using favipiravir in patients with non-severe or severe COVID-19 because of low-quality evidence. Researchers in Canada plan to conduct a randomized controlled trial evaluating the efficacy of favipiravir compared with placebo for adults living in long-term care homes focused on controlling COVID-19 outbreaks (NCT04448119). Favipiravir is not approved in Canada and is not currently accessible outside of clinical trials. CADTH will continue to monitor emerging evidence related to antiviral agents in COVID-19.

Dexamethasone

On July 17, 2020, the preliminary results of the RECOVERY study were published comparing dexamethasone plus usual standard of care with usual standard of care alone. The RECOVERY study is a large, ongoing, multi-centre, open-label, randomized controlled trial investigating several treatments for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. CADTH has conducted a critical appraisal of the published results and will continue to monitor the emerging evidence related to systemic corticosteroids in managing COVID-19.