DisCoVeRy is a randomized controlled trial among adults (≥18-year-old) hospitalized for COVID-19. This study is an adaptive, randomized, open or blinded, depending on the drug to be evaluated, clinical trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of possible therapeutic agents in hospitalized adult patients diagnosed with COVID-19. The study is a multi-centre/country trial that will be conducted in various sites in Europe with Inserm as sponsor. The study will compare different investigational therapeutic agents to a control group managed with the SoC including corticosteroids and anticoagulants. There will be interim monitoring to allow early stopping for safety and to introduce new therapies as they become available. If one therapy proves to be superior to others in the trial, this treatment may become part of the SoC for comparison(s) with new experimental treatment(s).
In previous versions of the DisCoVeRy protocol, remdesivir, lopinavir/ritonavir with or without interferon ß-1a and hydroxychloroquine were evaluated as potential treatments for COVID-19. These treatments have been discontinued based on analyses review by both DSMC/DSMB, the Solidarity Executive Group and the DisCoVeRy steering committee.
This version of the protocol, therefore, describes a randomized blinded placebo-controlled trial among adults (≥18-year-old) hospitalized for COVID-19 that randomly allocates them (1:1 ratio) between 2 arms: SoC + placebo versus SoC + AZD7442.
Randomization will be stratified by region (according to the administrative definition in each country) and antigenic status (positive or negative), obtained from the result of a rapid antigen test on nasopharyngeal swab performed at enrolment.
The primary analyses will be conducted on patients with antigen-positive results. A positive antigenic test is evidence of high viral shedding consistent with a recently started or uncontrolled infection. Overall, the number of antigen-negative patients will be at most 30% of all included subjects. Sensitivity analyses will be performed in all patients, stratified by antigenic status.
A global independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) monitors interim data to make recommendations about early study closure or changes to conduct, including adding or removing treatment arms. However, the current version of the protocol does not allow for efficacy or futility analysis, and the ability to add trial arms will be limited by the study being blinded and placebo-controlled during the investigation of AZD7442.
On May 2, 2022, The Lancet reported the final results of Solidarity and meta-analyses of mortality in all relevant trials to date.
Between March 22, 2020, and Jan 29, 2021, 14,304 potentially eligible patients were recruited from 454 hospitals in 35 countries in all six WHO regions. After the exclusion of 83 (0·6%) patients with a refuted COVID-19 diagnosis or encrypted consent not entered into the database, Solidarity enrolled 14,221 patients, including 8,275 randomly allocated (1:1) either to remdesivir (ten daily infusions, unless discharged earlier) or to its control (allocated no study drug although remdesivir was locally available). Compliance was high in both groups. Overall, 602 (14·5%) of 4,146 patients assigned to remdesivir died versus 643 (15·6%) of 4,129 assigned to control (mortality rate ratio [RR] 0·91 [95% CI 0·82–1·02], p=0·12). Of those already ventilated, 151 (42·1%) of 359 assigned to remdesivir died versus 134 (38·6%) of 347 assigned to control (RR 1·13 [0·89–1·42], p=0·32). Of those not ventilated but on oxygen, 14·6% assigned to remdesivir died versus 16·3% assigned to control (RR 0·87 [0·76–0·99], p=0·03). Of 1,730 not on oxygen initially, 2·9% assigned to remdesivir died versus 3·8% assigned to control (RR 0·76 [0·46–1·28], p=0·30). Combining all those not ventilated initially, 11·9% assigned to remdesivir died versus 13·5% assigned to control (RR 0·86 [0·76–0·98], p=0·02) and 14·1% versus 15·7% progressed to ventilation (RR 0·88 [0·77–1·00], p=0·04). The non-prespecified composite outcome of death or progression to ventilation occurred in 19·6% assigned to remdesivir versus 22·5% assigned to control (RR 0·84 [0·75–0·93], p=0·001). Allocation to daily remdesivir infusions (vs open-label control) delayed discharge by about 1 day during the 10-day treatment period.
A meta-analysis of mortality in all randomized trials of remdesivir versus no remdesivir yielded similar findings.
Remdesivir has no significant effect on patients with COVID-19 who are already being ventilated.
Among other hospitalized patients, it has a small effect against death or progression to ventilation (or both).
Remdesivir use for the treatment of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 was not associated with clinical improvement at day 15.