COVID-19: DSRU’s latest research and capabilities update

30 April 2020

The DSRU team is heavily engaged in conducting studies related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of clinical trials are underway around the world, many on repurposed drugs, but it is important to look at the benefit-risk balance of the proposed new treatments. Inevitably clinical trials on these products will be shortened, so it will be essential to monitor the effectiveness of these new treatments at the post-marketing stage.

Our preparations to provide near real-time intensive monitoring of new COVID-19 vaccines are well underway and we are in touch with stakeholders in order to form a consortium. This builds on our experience of monitoring the safety of vaccines, including the swine flu vaccine in 2009 and seasonal flu vaccines every year since 2014. Our team of epidemiologists and medics is conducting systematic benefit-risk assessments on a number of proposed treatments for the virus. We have published our systematic benefit-risk assessment of remdesivir for COVID-19 and have also completed benefit-risk assessments for chloroquine/ hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ ritonavir, both of which are awaiting publication.

We are also ready to undertake post-marketing surveillance on the drugs proposed to treat COVID-19 infections.