Table 2

Products being assessed in registered clinical trials for SARS-CoV-2 infection

Major drug class and drugsRegistered trials, N*Pharmacological mechanismClinical uses
Chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine49Inhibit certain enzymes by interacting with DNA; possible antiviral effect on SARS-CoV through changing the glycosylation of ACE2 receptor and spike protein.Malaria, extraintestinal amebiasis, lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
Dihydroartemisinin/piperaquine1Blocks a step in Plasmodium falciparum parasite’s metabolism needed for its survival.Malaria.
Asc09/ritonavir2HIV-1 protease inhibitor.Investigational drug for HIV (China).
Azvudine4Reverse transcriptase inhibitor.Investigational drug for HIV-1.
Baloxavir2Polymerase acidic (PA) endonuclease inhibitor.Influenza.
Danoprevir/ritonavir4Danoprevir inhibits hepatitis virus C NS3/4A protease inhibitor.Investigational drug for hepatitis C.
Darunavir/cobicistat1Darunavir inhibits HIV-1 protease enzyme, thus slowing down multiplication of HIV.HIV-1.
Favipiravir11Inhibits RNA polymerase and prevents replication of the viral genome.Influenza (Japan).
Lopinavir/ritonavir16Lopinavir inhibits HIV-1 protease enzyme, thus slowing down multiplication of HIV.HIV-1.
Remdesivir10Nucleoside analogue; inhibit the action of RNA polymerase; tested for Ebola, MERS and SARS.None; investigational medicine.
Ribavirin1Inhibition of viral RNA and protein synthesis.Hepatitis C.
Oseltamivir2Inhibitor of influenza virus neuraminidase affecting release of viral particles.Influenza.
Umifenovir6Inhibits membrane fusion in influenza virus.Influenza (Russia and China).
Sofosbuvir/ledipasvir1Sofosbuvir inhibits HCV NS5B RNA; ledipasvir inhibits HCV NS5A inhibitor.Hepatitis C.
Different antiviral combinations‡7
Adalimumab1Blocks tumour necrosis factor–α, thereby reducing inflammation and other symptoms of the disease.Rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis, Crohn’s disease, axial spondyloarthritis and plaque psoriasis.
Baricitinib2Janus kinase inhibitor.Rheumatoid arthritis.
Fingolimod1Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor modulator.Multiple sclerosis.
Ixekizumab1Interleukin-17A antagonist.Plaque psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Leflunomide1Pyrimidine synthesis inhibitor.Rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis.
Pirfenidone3Not yet known; reduce fibroblasts production.Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
Sarilumab4Interleukin-6 receptor antagonist.Rheumatoid arthritis.
Thalidomide2Not fully known; it has immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory and antiangiogenic properties.Multiple myeloma and erythema nodosum leprosum.
Tocilizumab11Interleukin-6 receptor antagonist.Rheumatoid arthritis, giant cell arteritis, juvenile idiopathic arthritis and cytokine release syndrome.
Interferon15Recombinant cytokine with antiviral properties.Hepatitis B, hepatitis C, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, follicular lymphoma, carcinoid tumour and malignant melanoma.
Sargramostim1Human granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor.Acute myeloid leukaemia and transplantation.
Anticancer drugs7
Bevacizumab2Vascular endothelial growth factor-specific angiogenesis inhibitor.Several types of cancer; for example, colon, lung and breast.
Colchicine2Tubulin disruption.Gout flare and familial Mediterranean fever.
Programmed death receptor-1 (PD-1) antagonists2Binds to PD-1 found on T cells, thereby inhibiting T cell proliferation.Several types of cancer; for example, melanoma, lung and kidney.
Ruxolitinib1Janus kinases inhibitor.Myelofibrosis and polycythaemia vera.
Dexamethasone1Apoptosis of multiple myeloma cells.Multiple myeloma.
Methylprednisolone5Binds to nuclear receptors to dampen proinflammatory cytokines.Several uses; for example, endocrine, rheumatic and collagen disorders.
Immunoglobulins3Several autoimmune, infectious and idiopathic diseases.
Antithrombotic agents3
Heparin2Inactivation of Factor Xa and Factor IIa.Deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Antifibrinolytics (proteinase inhibitors)2
Camostat1Serine protease inhibitor.Chronic pancreatitis and postoperative reflux esophagitis (Japan).
Ulinastat1Urinary trypsin inhibitor.Acute pancreatitis and shock (Japan).
Expectorants (mucolytics)2
Acetylcysteine1Mucolytic agent.Abnormal, viscid or inspissated mucous secretions.
Bromhexine1Mucolytic agent.Congestion and cough.
Other drugs35
Aviptadil1Analogue of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide.Acute lung injury and sarcoidosis (Europe).
Azithromycin1Inhibits bacterial protein synthesis.Mild to moderate infections.
Carrimycin2Inhibit protein synthesis by binding to ribosomes of the bacteria.Tuberculosis.
Camrelizumab1Monoclonal antibody; PD-1 inhibitor.Refractory classical Hodgkin lymphoma (China).
CD24Fc1Recombinant fusion protein that targets a novel immune pathway checkpoint.Investigational drug.
Dexmedetomidine1Selective alpha2-adrenergic agonist.Sedation.
Escin2Inhibition of an inflammatory response at cellular level.Decongestant and reduction of swelling following injuries.
GD31 (nucleoside analogue)1Nucleoside analogues.Not found.
Jakotinib1Janus kinase inhibitor.Investigational drug (China).
Losartan2Angiotensin II receptor blockers.Hypertension.
Meformin1Decreases hepatic production and intestinal absorption of glucose and improves insulin sensitivity.Diabetes mellitus.
Meplazumab1Humanised anti-CD147 antibody.Investigational drug.
Nitric oxide5Vasodilating agent.Hypoxic respiratory failure in neonates.
Noscapine1Opium alkaloid.Cough suppressant.
PUL-0422Agonists of Toll-like receptors.Investigational drug.
Polyinosinic-polycytidylic acid1Upregulation of antitumor genes and the induction of cell apoptosis.Possible anticancer activity.
Recombinant human ACE21Renin-angiotensin system peptidase.Possible heart failure therapy.
Recombinant human interleukin-21T cell growth factor.Melanoma and renal cell carcinoma.
Recombinant human granulocyte colony stimulating factor1Mediating T cell tolerance.Neutrophil-mediated inflammatory disease.
Sildenafil (urologicals)1Sigma receptor agonist activity.Erectile dysfunction.
Suramin (antiprotozoals)1Macrofilaricidal.African sleeping sickness and river blindness (Africa).
Thymosin35 Da polypeptide hormone.Investigational drug for cancer.
Tranilast1Haematopoietic prostaglandin D synthase inhibitor.Bronchial asthma, keloid, hypertrophic scar and allergic disorders (Japan and South Korea).
Triazavirin1Guanine nucleotide analogue that inhibits RNA synthesis.Influenza A and B infections (Russia).
Other combinations‡3
  • *Column total exceeds 202 as some trials examine multiple drugs.

  • †Ritonavir and cobicistat inhibit CYP3A metabolism and increase blood concentration of the other antiviral drug.

  • ‡Details on drug combinations are provided in table 3.

  • §One trial did not specify type of corticosteroid.

  • MERS, Middle East respiratory syndrome; SARS-CoV-2, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2.