Study of ongoing registered clinical trials on COVID-19: a narrative review

Sao Paulo Med J. 2020 Sep-Oct;138(5):441-456. doi: 10.1590/1516-3180.2020.0208.r1.15062020.


Background: The dangerous SARS-CoV-2 virus first emerged in China in December 2019 and has rapidly spread worldwide. Currently, it has affected more than 2,850,000 people. No vaccine or drug is available yet, and therefore researchers and scientists are striving to identify potential drugs or vaccines for combating this virus. We were unable to find any review of the literature or analysis on ongoing registered clinical trials that reported diagnostic tests, therapeutics, vaccines and devices for COVID-19 along with estimated enrollment, participants' ages, study type, start and completion date, status, treatment/intervention and country.

Objective: To review ongoing trials relating to COVID-19.

Methods: A systematic search for clinical trials was conducted in the database up to April 12, 2020. A total of 339 trials relating to COVID-19 were analyzed and key information on each trial was recorded.

Results: Most of the trials were being conducted in the United States and completion of most of them was expected by May 2020. They were mostly on drugs and treatment, while a minority were on diagnostic tests. The analysis showed that hydroxychloroquine was investigated in most of the trials. The trials identified were categorized into five classes: a) diagnostic tests; b) therapeutics; c) biologics and vaccines; d) devices and products; and e) others.

Conclusion: The trials identified have potential against COVID-19 that can be applied in treatment processes after the necessary investigations and experiments. Additionally, the items identified were organized in a proper way, which can assist in current research activities.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus
  • COVID-19
  • Clinical Trials as Topic*
  • Coronavirus Infections*
  • Humans
  • Pandemics*
  • Pneumonia, Viral*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • United States