Saudi Arabia’s Qassim University observed with great importance the outburst of clinical research, both interventional and observational, with the onset of the pandemic. The university has taken a keen interest in better understanding these studies can help in decision making regarding the effective handling of COVID-19 infected patients. The Saudi group also sought to put the “hand on the pulse beat” of advanced COVID-19 research in view of historical interest and clinical relevance. Hence later this month, the research institution leads an observational cross sectional study aiming to explore completed research in World Health Organization (WHO) complaint registries to understand trends of COVID-19 research. Seeking a bird eye view of ongoing COVID-19 research, the sponsors of this study hope that any findings result in a valuable transfer of knowledge worldwide to researchers and health care professionals. Of note, two prominent treatments the Saudi researchers probe include Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine among other treatments.
Sponsored by Qassim University and titled “Worldwide Trends on COVID-19 Research after the Declaration of COVID-19 Pandemic: An Observational Study,” the study team leads a retrospective, cohort study starting July 25, 2020 and concluding September 20, 2020. The study involves two cohorts, including (1) completed interventional studies stored in the WHO-compliant registries database, which are registered and completed prior to March 11th, 2020 and (2) completed observational studies in the same database with the same time parameters. The Qassim University team will review the exact same treatments for each cohort including the following:
· Convalescent Plasma Transfusion (the U.S. has a major emergency use authorization study)
· Hydroxychloroquine (a popular drug early on that fell out of favor but recent studies may keep the interest)
· DAS181 (a recombinant sialidase protein that cleaves sialic acid located on the surface of epithelial cells lining the human respiratory track)
· Ivermectin (anti-parasitic drug with growing popularity in low-to middle-income nations)
· Interferon Beta-1A (class medications called immunomodulators)
Primary outcome measures include (1) the geographical distribution of the interventional studies post March 11, 2020, (2) the geographical distribution of the Observational studies after March 11, 2020, and (3) monthly research study completion rate as per geographic distribution of the research by August 15, 2020.
Secondary outcome measures include (1) statistical correlation of the interventional studies research with developed, developing and under developed countries (2) statistical correlation of the observational studies research with developed, developing and under developed countries (3) statistical correlation of the drug based interventional studies research with developed, developing and under developed countries (4) statistical correlation of the diagnostic test based interventional studies research with developed, developing and under developed countries and (5) statistical correlation of the device based interventional studies research with developed, developing and under developed countries.
About Qassim University
This public university was established in 2004 jointly between King Saud University and Imam Muhammad ibn Saud Islamic University, each of which used it as its Qassim campus. Thereafter, its constituent colleges became part of Qassim University. According to uniRank, the university ranks 9th in Saudi Arabia. Located in the center of the country about 4 hours drive north of Riyadh. The university enrolls about 40,000 students.
Dr. Shiva Shankar Bugude, Assistant Professor, Qassim University