A UK national clinical trial, RECOVERY, has unveiled that it will examine aspirin as a potential COVID-19 treatment, with over 16,000 patients recruited.
"We felt it was particularly important to add aspirin to the trial since there is a clear rationale for believing that it might be beneficial and it is safe, inexpensive and widely available. We are looking for medicines for COVID-19 that can be used immediately by anyone, anywhere in the world. We do not know if aspirin is such a medicine but we will find out", said Peter Horby, a professor and co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial.
According to Horby's plan, "at least 2,000 patients will be randomly allocated to receive aspirin 150 mg daily plus usual standard-of-care, and results will be compared with at least 2,000 patients who receive standard-of-care on its own". The main factor to be assessed is mortality in 28 days after, along with the need for ventilation or other impacts on hospital stay.
"Aspirin is widely used to prevent blood clots in many other conditions, including heart attack, stroke, and pre-eclampsia in pregnant women. But enrolling patients in a randomised trial such as RECOVERY is the only way to assess whether there are clear benefits for patients with COVID-19 and whether those benefits outweigh any potential side effects such as the risk of bleeding", said Martin Landray a professor with the Nuffield Department of Population Health, a co-leader of the RECOVERY trial.
Among other medications that are being considered by the trial group are Azithromycin, a commonly used antibiotic, an anti-inflammatory treatment, convalescent plasma collected from those recovered from COVID-19 and gained antibodies, and Regeneron's antibody cocktail REGN-COV2.
The RECOVERY trial is supported by Oxford University and several clinical trial units, and involves medical experts from over 176 hospitals across the United Kingdom.
As several global pharmacy companies struggle to come up with anti-coronavirus vaccine, over 49 million COVID cases have been registered in the world, with a death toll of around 1,2 million.
Russian-made Sputnik V is the first anti-COVID vaccine registered in the world, developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and is currently completing phase 3 of clinical trials.