Research response to coronavirus disease 2019 needed better coordination and collaboration: a living mapping of registered trials

Van Thu Nguyen, Philippe Rivière, Pierre Ripoll, Julien Barnier, Romain Vuillemot, Gabriel Ferrand, Sarah Cohen-Boulakia, Philippe Ravaud, Isabelle Boutron, Solaf Alawadhi, Sihem Amer-Yahia, Camila Ávila, Aïda Bafeta, Julia Baudry, Claudia Bollig, Hillary Bonnet, Isabelle Boutron, Marinette Bouet, Guillaume Cabanac, Anna ChaimaniDavid Chavalarias, Yaolong Chen, Astrid Chevance, Sarah Cohen-Boulakia, Emmanuel Coquery, Francoise Conil, Mauricia Davidson, Laura De Nale, Declan Devane, Elise Diard, Bastien Doreau, Theodoros Evrenoglou, Alice Fabri, Gilles Feron, Gabriel Ferrand, Leopold Fezeu, Mathilde Fouet, Lina Ghosn El Chall, Carolina Graña, Giacomo Grasselli, François Grolleau, Mohand-Said Hacid, Loubna Haddy, Camilla Hansen, Ameer Hohlfeld, Asbjørn Hróbjartsson, Chantal Julia, Dimitris Mavridis, Joerg J. Meerpohl, Brice Meyer, Nivantha Naidoo, Van Nguyen Thu, Theodora Oikonomidi, Elizabeth Pienaar, Fiona Quirke, Gabriel Rada, Philippe Ravaud, Pierre Ripoll, Carolina Riveros, Philippe Rivière, Marie Sauvant, Christine Schmucker, Farouk Toumani, David Tovey, Romain Vuillemot, Jun Xia, Xuan Yu, Emina Zoletic, Pierre Zweigenbaum

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
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Objectives: Researchers worldwide are actively engaging in research activities to search for preventive and therapeutic interventions against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Our aim was to describe the planning of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in terms of timing related to the course of the COVID-19 epidemic and research question evaluated. Study Design and Setting: We performed a living mapping of RCTs registered in the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform. We systematically search the platform every week for all RCTs evaluating preventive interventions and treatments for COVID-19 and created a publicly available interactive mapping tool at to visualize all trials registered. Results: By August 12, 2020, 1,568 trials for COVID-19 were registered worldwide. Overall, the median ([Q1–Q3]; range) delay between the first case recorded in each country and the first RCT registered was 47 days ([33–67]; 15–163). For the 9 countries with the highest number of trials registered, most trials were registered after the peak of the epidemic (from 100% trials in Italy to 38% in the United States). Most trials evaluated treatments (1,333 trials; 85%); only 223 (14%) evaluated preventive strategies and 12 postacute period intervention. A total of 254 trials were planned to assess different regimens of hydroxychloroquine with an expected sample size of 110,883 patients. Conclusion: This living mapping analysis showed that COVID-19 trials have relatively small sample size with certain redundancy in research questions. Most trials were registered when the first peak of the pandemic has passed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-116
JournalJournal of Clinical Epidemiology
Early online date21 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished Online - 21 Oct 2020


  • COVID-19
  • Clinical trial
  • Living mapping
  • Meta-analysis
  • Prevention
  • Systematic review
  • Treatment


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