Living systematic review COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 Registered Clinical Trials 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak was identified December 2019 in Wuhan, China, a strong response from the research community has been evident as observed in the proliferation of independent clinical trials assessing diagnostic methods, therapeutic and prophylactic strategies. While there is no intervention for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 with proven clinical efficacy to date, tools to distil the current research landscape by intervention, level of evidence and those studies likely powered to address future research questions is essential.

Novel Coronavirus SARS CoV 2
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Credit: NIH - Novel Coronavirus SARS CoV 2

This living systematic review aims to provide an open, accessible and frequently updated resource summarising the characteristics of COVID-19 clinical trial registrations. Weekly search updates of the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) and source registries are being conducted. Data extraction by two reviewers of trial characteristic variables including categorisation of trial design, geographic location, intervention type and targets, level of evidence and intervention adaptability to low resource settings is being completed. Descriptive and thematic synthesise is in progress.

Preliminary results of the baseline search results (24 March 2020) identified 555 relevant registered clinical trial records. Of the 334 clinical trials assessing diagnostic methods, therapeutic and prophylactic strategies, 188 are currently open for recruitment of patients, healthy volunteers or healthcare workers in the context of COVID-19 and a further 146 are preparing to recruit. A searchable and interactive visualisation of the results database is being created, and will shortly be made openly available online and updated following continued weekly search updates. Furthermore, all project resources including the review protocol, REDCap database and associated variable and data dictionaries will be accessible.

This living systematic review will provide a useful resource for researchers in a rapidly evolving context. In the future, this sustained review will allow prioritisation of research targets for individual patient data meta-analysis.