The search for COVID-19 treatments: 32 clinical trials happening right now in Canada

TORONTO — Medical researchers around the world are scrambling to find ways to prevent and treat COVID-19, and many Canadian scientists are doing their part to help.

There are 32 active clinical trials related to efforts to stop the novel coronavirus in Canada as of Wednesday morning, according to Health Canada.

They run the gamut from attempts to stop the progression of the disease in the most severely ill patients to experiments on what drugs found to be effective against other illnesses do to COVID-19.

Another 30 clinical trials are listed as pending, which means they have not officially begun, while three more, all involving hydroxychloroquine, have been closed.

Here is information on each potential treatment – and the one potential vaccine – currently being evaluated in Canadian clinical trials:

20-5449: Nitric oxide – not to be confused with nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas – is being tested in intubated COVID-19 patients to see if it inhibits the disease.

2149: Some critically ill COVID-19 patients at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto are subjects in this trial, which uses anesthetic drug isoflurane.

ARBS CORONA II: Normally used to treat high blood pressure, losartan is being tested on COVID-19 patients in this trial.

CATCO: Toronto’s Sunnybrook Research Institute is handling the Canadian side of the World Health Organization-backed trial of remdesivir in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

CINC424J12301 RUXCOVID: Ruxolitinib, a drug used to treat high-risk myelofibrosis, is being tested to see if it can stop the cytokine storm created when a body’s response to COVID-19 kicks its immune system into overdrive.

CIRCA-19: Tests of a cellular immunotherapy treatment are being conducted by a team from the Ottawa Health Research Institute.

COLCORONA-MHIPS-2020-01: The Montreal Heart Institute is behind one of two Canadian trials involving colchicine, a medication normally used to treat gout. This trial is partially sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is expected to be completed by December.

CONCOR-KIDS: Some pediatric COVID-19 patients in Alberta hospitals are being given this treatment, which uses frozen plasma from recovered patients.

CONTROL-COVID-FAVIPIRAVIR-1: Nova Scotia-based Appili Therapeutics is behind this trial of favipiravir, an antiviral drug most commonly used in Japan.

CORIPREV-1: Lopinavir/ritonavir was approved for treatment of HIV/AIDS infections in 2000, and is now being tested by Unity Health Toronto to see how it affects COVID-19.

COVACTA: Drugmaker Hoffmann-La Roche is testing Actemra, a relatively new arthritis medication, to see how patients with severe pneumonia related to COVID-19respond to it.

COVID-CTP-01: This is another trial involving nitric oxide, this one being carried out in Quebec by Vancouver-based R&D firm SaNOtize.

GRAAL-2020-01: A team from Hamilton Health Sciences is behind a trial thatuses plasma from recovered patients to treat hospitalized adults who have acute cases of COVID-19.

GS-US-540-5821: Another trial investigating antiviral drug remdesivir, this one is being conducted by pharmaceutical company Gilead.

HEROS-1: Hydroxychloroquine is being given to front-line health-care workers for this trial run by the University Health Network in Toronto.

IC.8: The only ongoing Canadian trial to involve a potential vaccine, this tests involves recruiting patients at higher risk of severe complications and giving them IMM-101, a bacteria designed to boost their immune system and keep COVID-19 at bay.

JF-4-2020: The Toronto-based University Health Network is taking part in this trial involving peginterferon-lambda, a part of the human antiviral immune response that proponents believe may have a lower risk of serious side effects than other potential COVID-19 treatments.

LAU-20-01: Fenretinide, which has been found to be effective in fighting some cancer cells, is being tested against COVID-19 in this trial run by Laurent Pharmaceuticals.

LOVIT-COVID: Researchers at the Sherbrooke University Hospital are examining whether high doses of vitamin C can lessen organ dysfunction in hospitalized patients.

MK-4482: Some hospitalized adults with COVID-19 are taking part in this trial, which involves an experimental influenza drug known as MK-4482.

MP-31-2019-2945: COVID-19 patients in intensive care are eligible for this Sherbrooke University Hospital trial examining how high doses of vitamin C affect organ dysfunction.

NCT04405102: A multiple sclerosis-fighting drug known as ozanimod is being given to COVID-19 patients who require oxygen in this Quebec-based trial.

OZM-113: The University of Manitoba is behind this trial, which gives therapeutic doses of blood thinners to participating hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

PHRI.ACT.COVID19: The other Canadian trial to use gout-fighting drug colchicine, this one is being carried out by Hamilton Health Sciences.

PREP2020: Another trial run by researchers from the University of Manitoba, this one involves hydroxychloroquine.

PROTOCOL 214094: COVID-19 patients with severe pulmonary symptoms may be eligible for this trial from pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, which uses an antibody known as Otilimab.

RAPID COVID COAG: This Toronto-based trial involves the use of blood thinners as a COVID-19 therapy.

REMAP-CAP: This trial involving intensive care patients tracks the effectiveness of several therapies being studied in other entries on this list, including lopinavir/ritonavir, blood thinners and frozen plasma.

SAIL-004: Baricitinib, an arthritis drug, is being tested in hospitalized COVID-19 patients in a trial run by Dr. Lisa Barrett of Dalhousie University.

SAR153191: Another drug normally used to treat arthritis, sarilumab is being tested on some hospitalized COVID-19 patients by pharmaceutical company Sanofi.

U-DEPLOY: This is the second of two Canadian trials involving anti-myelofibrosis treatment ruxolitinib. Researchers in Toronto are monitoring how many COVID-19 patients’ symptoms worsen after they are given the drug.

VASCEPA-COVID-19-CARDIOLINK-9: Icosapent, a drug primarily used to help prevent heart issues and strokes, is the focus of this trial.

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