22 May 2020

Lancet publishes a multinational registry analysis reporting increased rates of cardiac arrhythmia and poorer survival among people with COVID-19 who received hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine. Source
New England Journal of Medicine publishes a preliminary report from the ACTT trial confirming that it significantly shortened time to recovery (hospital discharge) from 15 to 11 days. Source
• The Oxford/AstraZeneca’s recombinant adenovirus vaccine, ChAdOx1 nCoV-19, enters phase II/III with a plan to enroll up to 10,260 adults and children. Source
• Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) and ChemRar Group announce the final stage of a multicenter, randomized favipiravir trial in 330 people hospitalized with COVID-19. In the trial’s first stage, 40 people were given the drug; 65% of them had no detectable virus in four days (versus 9 days for standard of care); sponsors noted “faster improvements in the general health and clinical condition” of people treated with favipiravir. Source
• Results from a phase I trial of CanSino’s non-replicating adenovirus type-5 (Ad5) vectored COVID-19 vaccine are published; it is considered safe and immunogenic, warranting further study. Source
• The world’s first generic version of remdesivir enters the market: Beximco, a generics drug producer in Bangladesh, produces its version of remdesivir after an emergency government decree; it will donate the product to hospitals, sell it to private clinics and export it (which is possible since it is a least-developed nation and does not need to recognize drug patents). Source 1,2

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