Three new drug candidates are being tested in the latest phase of Solidarity’s global clinical trials to find effective treatments for COVID-19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) made the announcement on Wednesday.
The therapies – artesunate, imatinib and infliximab – will be tested on COVID-19 hospital patients in 52 countries as part of the Solidarity PLUS program.
As of Wednesday, more than 203 million cases of the disease have been recorded worldwide, according to the WHO.
The world crossed the 200 million mark last week, just six months after cases surpassed 100 million.
Speaking at a press conference in Geneva, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus stressed the vital need to find more effective and accessible coronavirus therapies.
He said: “We already have many tools to prevent, test and treat COVID-19, including oxygen, dexamethasone and IL-6 blockers.
“But we need more, for patients at all ends of the clinical spectrum, from mild to severe illness. And we need trained health workers to use them in a safe environment. “
The three drugs were chosen by an independent panel for their potential to reduce the risk of death in people hospitalized with coronavirus.