“There are more than 130 trials worldwide in progress or in preparation”


Gilles Pialoux: Hello Vivien,Discovery is a European trial coordinated by the National Institute for Health and Medical Research (Inserm) which started on March 22. A total of 800 French patients with severe forms of Covid-19 will be included in this trial (3,200 in Europe). More than twenty French hospitals are expected to participate.

This research is a randomized trial (draw) which provides five treatment modalities, called arms mixing the anti-viral approach and the immunological approach:

  • standard care;
  • standard care plus Remdesivir (an antiviral developed against Ebola, not marketed);
  • standard care plus Lopinavir and Ritonavir (an old anti-HIV molecule);
  • standard care plus Lopinavir, Ritonavir and interferon beta (a medicine used to fight lung inflammation);
  • standard care plus hydroxycholoroquine.

Hydroxychloroquine will be compared like the other molecules. No more no less. This research trial is done in real time and is scalable. It has a Scientific Committee and an independent committee. The investigators will be reactive to epidemic outbreaks and develop research as they go, to select the best molecules as quickly as possible. In the presence of too little efficiency, they will stop an arm to switch to other candidate molecules.

Why there is no Azythromycin, because the Marseille data only concerned 6 people … And without a control group since by definition only those who had pneumonia had this antibiotic which is also in tension in some hospitals.

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