WHO announces three new drugs for latest COVID-19 clinical trials

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Three new candidate drugs are being tested in the latest phase of global solidarity clinical trials to find effective treatments against COVID-19, the World Health Organization (WHO) on announced on Wednesday.

The three drugs – artesunate, imatinib and infliximab – will be tested on hospitalized COVID-19 patients across 52 countries under the Solidarity PLUS program.

The announcement comes as the number of COVID-19 infections globally have surpassed the 204.28 million mark, with deaths exceeding 4.31 million.

“We already have many tools to prevent, test for 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 disease. And we need health workers that are trained to use them in a safe environment,” the WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom said at a press conference in Geneva.

The three drugs were selected by an independent panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in people hospitalized for COVID-19.

They are already being used to treat other conditions.