Three new candidate drugs are being tested in the latest phase of global Solidarity clinical trials to find effective treatments against COVID-19.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) made the announcement on Wednesday.
The therapies — artesunate, imatinib and infliximab — will be tested on hospitalised COVID-19 patients in 52 countries under the Solidarity PLUS programme.
There have been over 203 million cases of the disease recorded globally as of Wednesday, according to WHO.
The world hit the 200 million mark last week, just six months after cases passed 100 million.
Speaking during a press conference in Geneva, WHO’s Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, underscored the vital need to find more effective and accessible coronavirus therapeutics.
He said, “We already have many tools to prevent, test for and treat COVID-19, including oxygen, dexamethasone and IL-6 blockers.
“But we need more, for patients at all ends of the clinical spectrum, from mild to severe disease. And we need health workers that are trained to use them in a safe environment.”
The three drugs were chosen by an independent panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in people hospitalised for coronavirus.