Summary

The only global trial of potential COVID-19 treatments is languishing. The World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial, set up last year to quickly test potential COVID-19 therapies with tens of thousands of patients, produced headlines in October 2020 when it showed that four candidate treatments offer little benefit. But since then, it hasn’t launched any new tests. On 27 January, John-Arne R√łttingen, who works at Norway’s foreign ministry and chairs the trial’s executive group, pulled the plug on the study’s only remaining arm, which tested the antiviral remdesivir. The executive group discussed potential new targets at a meeting on 24 February, and R√łttingen hopes to restart the trial in a few weeks. But observers are dismayed at the pause in the challenging but important trial.

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