‘We’ve Got to Be Able to Move More Quickly.’ The Pandemic Reality of COVID-19 Clinical Trials

June 16, 2020

(Science) – The novel coronavirus has upended the world of clinical research, with scientists under pressure to identify effective treatments for COVID-19 and vaccines to prevent new infections. More than 22,000 papers on the virus have been published this year, and more than 2000 trials are underway. They are testing everything from clot-busting drugs to monoclonal antibodies to convalescent plasma donated by patients who have recovered—not to mention a growing number of vaccines. But with speed borne of desperation comes risk and confusion—of trials too small to yield answers, of treatments overhyped, and of uncertainty about how to design the best studies possible.