Like many, we at ClinWiki.org have been constantly checking for news of COVID-19 and clinical research progress for the disease. Globally, the research community has an opportunity to come together in search of a vaccine and a cure. In the past few weeks there has been news of early research showing promise, but that is not enough. As illustrated in Figure 1, we have watched the total clinical trial count rise from 37 started by March 1st to almost 300 at the start of April and over 600 started or planned by May 1st. We decided that forming a community to help make sense of the trial landscape was something that the entire field needs. We realized that there was not a tool doing what we could do, which is to leverage the crowd to track and structure the relevant trials and be a repository for the information and results about the treatment(s).
ClinWiki.org exists to allow communities of experts and non-experts to create a better source of information about clinical trials in areas of interest to a given community. In order to be able to track completed trials, ongoing trials, and upcoming ones we created a COVID-19 specific site, leveraging the ClinWiki tool we have already built.
Building A Curation Community
With the assistance of Help With Covid, a small team from a diverse educational and geographical background has organized and reviewed over 300 trials. The first task undertaken by any ClinWiki community is to identify a list of categories and keywords to make sorting and filtering trials easier.
Keywords added include type of intervention, type of patient, and goal of the study. For Intervention Type, the options are Diagnose Disease, Investigational New Drug, Repurposing Of Drugs, Observational, Symptom Management Drug, Vaccine, and Other Intervention. For Patient Type the options are, At Risk For COVID-19, COVID-19 Positive, COVID-19 Symptomatic, General Population, Healthcare Worker, and Healthy Volunteer. For Study Goal, the options are Cure Disease, Impact Of Disease, Manage Disease, Prevent Disease, and Understand Disease. We can see the breakdown for each keyword below.
Digging deeper, we looked at the landscape of one therapy that has received a lot of both scientific and political attention, hydroxychloroquine. Hydroxychloroquine is an oral prescription drug that has been approved by the FDA for use as an anti-malarial drug, as well as for the treatment of lupus and other inflammatory diseases. Preclinical and small scale clinical trials in humans have shown that hydroxychloroquine when combined with azithromycin may help manage the severity of COVID-19 effects.
There are currently at least 98 trials studying the use of hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19. Of the 67 tagged to date:
|Study Goal||Number Studies||Number Participants|
There are multiple other sources of good information about trials and therapies in covid emerging. A partial list of those is listed here.
- The W.H.O. has a Covid site with some visualizations on some trial information from multiple global sources
- Clinicaltrials.gov has a Covid pre-filled search that is a day ahead of ClinWiki.org but doesn’t have crowd information
- The Anticancer Fund has a Covid drug repurposing database they are making open access and ClinWiki is working to leverage additional data on repurposing drugs.
- The Meta team at the Chan Zuckerberg Institute is working to disseminate findings and trial results as quickly as possible by gathering pre-prints and publications. They have a Meta COVID-19 Feed to follow the latest research.
- Blog posts on the therapy development landscape
Our community will continue to add and maintain keywords to new trials as they are added. We are also evaluating the addition of other categories of tags to continue clarifying the trial landscape. Taking the effort to the next level, a major focus will be to enhance the “Wiki” style summaries for the most important trials, editing the trial description and information to make it easier to understand and link to media articles and scientific results of the studies as they become available.
There are other complementary efforts that we are working to incorporate to build on the community.
Thank you to those that have contributed to the project thus far. If you are interested in volunteering with our project you can sign up via our project page on the Help With Covid site or feel free to email us at email@example.com.
ClinWiki.org is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) focused on making clinical trial information easier to access and understand. We are doing this by providing an improved search tool platform and helping build communities around different disease areas and crowdsourcing knowledge, in a similar vein as Wikipedia. How to get involved : Search, Curate, Code, Donate