Candidate: Arbidol (umifenovir)


Type: Membrane fusion inhibitor developed as a treatment for influenza

Status: Pharmstandard is assessing Arbidol in clinical trials as monotherapy and in combinations that include AbbVie’s Kaletra (See above), Ascletis Pharma’s ASC09 (See above), lopinavir, ritonavir, carrimycin, and Bromhexine Hydrochloride (enrolling by invitation). A 240-patient study compared Arbidol to favipiravir, and concluded that “favipiravir can be considered as a preferred treatment approach to ordinary COVID-19 pneumonia,” according to a preprint posted March 27 on medRxiv: “Favipiravir has higher 7 day’s clinical recovery rate (71.43%) than arbidol (55.86%), and the time of cough relief and fever reduction of fabiravir was significantly shorter than that of arbidol.”

A 44-patient trial (NCT04252885) also generated disappointing results, researchers reported in a preprint posted March 23 on medRxiv. They found that both Arbidol and Kaletra “seems little benefit for improving the clinical outcome of mild/moderate COVID-19,” that Kaletra might lead to more adverse events—and that further verification was needed because of the small sample size.

Those trials were two of six that included Arbidol to be listed on China’s Ruijin Hospital is conducting the monotherapy trial (NCT04260594), while Jiangsu Famous Medical Technology Co. is including Arbidol among Western medicine options in a trial comparing it to traditional Chinese medicine in treating COVID-19 (NCT04306497) and various Chinese hospitals are investigating the other combination therapies (NCT04273763, NCT04261907, NCT04286503)

COVID-19: 200 Candidates and Counting

To navigate through the >200 potential therapeutic and vaccine options for COVID-19, GEN has grouped the candidates into four broad categories based on their developmental and (where applicable) clinical progress:

FRONT RUNNER – the most promising therapeutics/vaccines based on clinical progress, favorable data or both.

DEFINITELY MAYBE – earlier phases with promising partners, or more advanced candidates in development that have generated uneven data

KEEPING AN EYE ON… – interesting technology, attracting notable partners, or both, but preliminary data.

TOO SOON TO TELL – longshots pending additional experimental and/or clinical data.

GEN has also tagged the most common treatment types:


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