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Combination therapies for COVID-19: An overview of the clinical trials landscape

Lookup NU author(s): Sola AkinboladeORCiD, Dr Diarmuid CoughlanORCiD, Ross Fairbairn, Dr Dapo Ogunbayo, Professor Dawn CraigORCiD



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd., 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


The COVID-19 pandemic has driven an unprecedented level of global activity in drug discovery and clinical development for effective therapeutics targeting the coronavirus disease. There are currently 744 therapeutics being tested in 2879 clinical trials globally. Almost 90% of these clinical trials are focused on monotherapies. Combination therapies are the mainstay of antiviral therapeutics to increase the potency of the individual compounds and to combat the rapid evolution of resistance, although combination therapies have inherently complex clinical and regulatory development challenges. Increased understanding of the SARS-CoV-2 lifecycle and COVID-19 pathology provides a scientific rationale for evaluating the effectiveness of different combinations. In this paper, we provide an overview of the current clinical trial landscape for combination therapeutics targeting COVID-19 through weekly scanning of national and international clinical trial registries. Our analysis delves specifically into dual combination therapies in what can be defined as "pivotal clinical trials" (active, randomised, controlled and at least phase II), with a focus on new and repurposed therapeutic candidates that have shown positive signals and/or been granted authorisation for emergency use based on positive efficacy and safety data.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Akinbolade S, Coughlan D, Fairbairn R, McConkey G, Powell H, Ogunbayo D, Craig D

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology

Year: 2022

Volume: 88

Issue: 4

Pages: 1590-1597

Print publication date: 01/04/2022

Online publication date: 23/09/2021

Acceptance date: 13/09/2021

Date deposited: 15/11/2021

ISSN (print): 0306-5251

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2125

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.


DOI: 10.1111/bcp.15089

PubMed id: 34558094


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