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COVID‐19 Clinical trials: quality matters more than quantity

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Sergio Bonini, Giuseppe Maltese

Original languageEnglish
Early online date20 May 2020
Accepted/In press14 May 2020
E-pub ahead of print20 May 2020

King's Authors


Despite the ferment aroused in the scientific community by the COVID‐19 outbreak and the over 11,000 papers listed in PubMed, published evidence on safe and effective drugs has not progressed yet at the same speed of the pandemic. However, clinical research is rapidly progressing, as shown by the hundreds of registered clinical trials on candidate drugs for COVID‐19. Unfortunately, information on protocols of individual studies differs from registry to registry. Furthermore, study designs, criteria for stratification of patients and choice of outcomes are quite heterogeneous. All this makes data sharing and secondary analysis difficult. At last, small single centre studies and the use of drugs on a compassionate basis should be replaced by highly powered, multi‐centre, multi‐arm clinical trials, in order to provide the required evidence of safety and efficacy of novel or repurposed candidate drugs. Hopefully, the efforts of clinical researchers in the fight against the SARS Cov‐2 will result into the identification of effective treatments. To make this possible, clinical research should be oriented by guidelines for more harmonized high‐quality studies and by a united commitment of the scientific community to share personal knowledge and data. Allergists and clinical immunologists should have a leading role in this unprecedent challenge.

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