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Snapshot of Select Canadian COVID-19 Trials

Canadian researchers are active amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, investigating drugs and vaccines for the treatment and prevention of this virus. There are currently 55 clinical trials that have been authorized by Health Canada. Several are looking at products gaining international interest for their potential role in treating COVID-19, namely tocilizumab and remdesivir.

Tocilizumab1,2: Tocilizumab is a recombinant IL-6 receptor monoclonal antibody, indicated for conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and cytokine release syndrome. It is currently being investigated for its ability to alleviate the inflammatory response (the so-called ‘cytokine storm’) which occurs in severe cases of COVID-19.

Remdesivir3,4: Remdesivir is an adenosine nucleotide prodrug which acts as an analog of ATP after it is metabolized. This drug inhibits the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase needed for the replication of SARS-CoV-2. As of July 28th, remdesivir became the first drug authorized by Health Canada (with conditions) for the treatment of COVID-19 patients with pneumonia who require more oxygen. Clinical trials are still ongoing in Canada, in order to gather more pertinent safety and efficacy data.

New research for treating COVID-19 is rapidly being shared and incorporated into fighting the pandemic. We look forward to seeing the results from these trials and how Canada’s research efforts may contribute to the treatment and prevention of COVID-19.


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