covid trials

20 hospitals in Canada are now doing clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment

In an effort to combat the rising number of COVID-19 deaths across the country, Canada has become one of 11 countries to join an unprecedented global trial that will test treatments against the coronavirus pandemic.

The trial, called SOLIDARITY, was launched by the World Health Organisation last week.

In total, 11 countries have already committed to the project so far. Aside from Canada, India, Thailand, Argentina, France, Iran, Bahrain, Norway, Spain, South Africa, and Switzerland have also joined.

At least 20 hospitals across across Canada will taking part in the clinical megatrial, and will be testing four medications to treat COVID-19, including drug combos already being used against HIV, a malaria treatment, and a failed antiviral invented last year to fight Ebola. 

Thousands of patients will take part in the trial worldwide, with patients in Switzerland and Spain being the first to enroll in the study so far.

In Canada, 400 adult patients are expected to participate, with the hopes to eventually be able to treat children as well. Sponsoring the Canadian trials is the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.

It will be funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, which has contributed nearly $1 million to the federal government's $275 million pledge toward COVID-19 research

According to medical officer Ana Maria Henao Restropo from WHO's Department of Immunization Vaccines and Biologicals, the trial will be simple enough for even for Canada's already over-burdened medical system to carry out. 

WHO has also begun a Solidarity Response Fund to combat COVID-19, which so far has raised donations worth $108 million USD in the past two weeks. 

Lead photo by

Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

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