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1.
EuropePMC; 2022.
Preprint in English | EuropePMC | ID: ppcovidwho-332755

ABSTRACT

Purpose: To assess the trustworthiness and impact of preprint trial reports during the COVID-19 pandemic. Data sources: WHO COVID-19 database and the L-OVE COVID-19 platform by the Epistemonikos Foundation (up to August 3rd, 2021) Design: We compare the characteristics of COVID-19 trials with and without preprints, estimate time to publication of COVID-19 preprint reports, describe discrepancies in key methods and results between preprint and published trial reports, report the number of retracted preprints and publications, and assess whether including versus excluding preprint reports affects meta-analytic estimates and the certainty of evidence. For the effects of eight therapies on mortality and mechanical ventilation, we performed meta-analyses including preprints and excluding preprints at 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months after the first trial addressing the therapy became available either as a preprint or publication (120 meta-analyses in total). Results: We included 356 trials, 101 of which are only available as preprints, 181 as journal publications, and 74 as preprints first and subsequently published in journals. Half of all preprints remain unpublished at six months and a third at one year. There were few important differences in key methods and results between trial preprints and their subsequent published reports. We identified four retracted trials, three of which were published in peer-reviewed journals. With two exceptions (2/60;3.3%), point estimates were consistent between meta-analyses including versus excluding preprints as to whether they indicated benefit, no appreciable effect, or harm. There were nine comparisons (9/60;15%) for which the rating of the certainty of evidence differed when preprints were included versus excluded, for four of these comparisons the certainty of evidence including preprints was higher and for five of these comparisons the certainty of evidence including preprints was lower. Limitations: The generalizability of our results is limited to COVID-19. Preprints that are subsequently published in journals may be the most rigorous and may not represent all trial preprints. Conclusion: We found no compelling evidence that preprints provide less trustworthy results than published papers. We show that preprints remain the only source of findings of many trials for several months, for a length of time that is unacceptable in a health emergency. We show that including preprints may affect the results of meta-analyses and the certainty of evidence. We encourage evidence users to consider data from preprints in contexts in which decisions are being made rapidly and evidence is being produced faster than can be peer-reviewed.

2.
BMJ ; 374: n2231, 2021 09 23.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1438073

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of antiviral antibody therapies and blood products for the treatment of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). DESIGN: Living systematic review and network meta-analysis, with pairwise meta-analysis for outcomes with insufficient data. DATA SOURCES: WHO covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature, and six Chinese databases (up to 21 July 2021). STUDY SELECTION: Trials randomising people with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19 to antiviral antibody therapies, blood products, or standard care or placebo. Paired reviewers determined eligibility of trials independently and in duplicate. METHODS: After duplicate data abstraction, we performed random effects bayesian meta-analysis, including network meta-analysis for outcomes with sufficient data. We assessed risk of bias using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool. The certainty of the evidence was assessed using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. We meta-analysed interventions with ≥100 patients randomised or ≥20 events per treatment arm. RESULTS: As of 21 July 2021, we identified 47 trials evaluating convalescent plasma (21 trials), intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) (5 trials), umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (5 trials), bamlanivimab (4 trials), casirivimab-imdevimab (4 trials), bamlanivimab-etesevimab (2 trials), control plasma (2 trials), peripheral blood non-haematopoietic enriched stem cells (2 trials), sotrovimab (1 trial), anti-SARS-CoV-2 IVIg (1 trial), therapeutic plasma exchange (1 trial), XAV-19 polyclonal antibody (1 trial), CT-P59 monoclonal antibody (1 trial) and INM005 polyclonal antibody (1 trial) for the treatment of covid-19. Patients with non-severe disease randomised to antiviral monoclonal antibodies had lower risk of hospitalisation than those who received placebo: casirivimab-imdevimab (odds ratio (OR) 0.29 (95% CI 0.17 to 0.47); risk difference (RD) -4.2%; moderate certainty), bamlanivimab (OR 0.24 (0.06 to 0.86); RD -4.1%; low certainty), bamlanivimab-etesevimab (OR 0.31 (0.11 to 0.81); RD -3.8%; low certainty), and sotrovimab (OR 0.17 (0.04 to 0.57); RD -4.8%; low certainty). They did not have an important impact on any other outcome. There was no notable difference between monoclonal antibodies. No other intervention had any meaningful effect on any outcome in patients with non-severe covid-19. No intervention, including antiviral antibodies, had an important impact on any outcome in patients with severe or critical covid-19, except casirivimab-imdevimab, which may reduce mortality in patients who are seronegative. CONCLUSION: In patients with non-severe covid-19, casirivimab-imdevimab probably reduces hospitalisation; bamlanivimab-etesevimab, bamlanivimab, and sotrovimab may reduce hospitalisation. Convalescent plasma, IVIg, and other antibody and cellular interventions may not confer any meaningful benefit. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This review was not registered. The protocol established a priori is included as a data supplement. FUNDING: This study was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (grant CIHR- IRSC:0579001321). READERS' NOTE: This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Interim updates and additional study data will be posted on our website (www.covid19lnma.com).


Subject(s)
Antibodies, Viral/therapeutic use , COVID-19/therapy , Cell- and Tissue-Based Therapy/methods , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antibodies, Monoclonal/therapeutic use , Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Bayes Theorem , COVID-19/immunology , Clinical Trials as Topic , Humans , Immunization, Passive , Network Meta-Analysis , Treatment Outcome
3.
BMJ ; 370: m2980, 2020 07 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-691120

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: To compare the effects of treatments for coronavirus disease 2019 (covid-19). DESIGN: Living systematic review and network meta-analysis. DATA SOURCES: WHO covid-19 database, a comprehensive multilingual source of global covid-19 literature, up to 1 March 2021 and six additional Chinese databases up to 20 February 2021. Studies identified as of 12 February 2021 were included in the analysis. STUDY SELECTION: Randomised clinical trials in which people with suspected, probable, or confirmed covid-19 were randomised to drug treatment or to standard care or placebo. Pairs of reviewers independently screened potentially eligible articles. METHODS: After duplicate data abstraction, a bayesian network meta-analysis was conducted. Risk of bias of the included studies was assessed using a modification of the Cochrane risk of bias 2.0 tool, and the certainty of the evidence using the grading of recommendations assessment, development, and evaluation (GRADE) approach. For each outcome, interventions were classified in groups from the most to the least beneficial or harmful following GRADE guidance. RESULTS: 196 trials enrolling 76 767 patients were included; 111 (56.6%) trials and 35 098 (45.72%) patients are new from the previous iteration; 113 (57.7%) trials evaluating treatments with at least 100 patients or 20 events met the threshold for inclusion in the analyses. Compared with standard care, corticosteroids probably reduce death (risk difference 20 fewer per 1000 patients, 95% credible interval 36 fewer to 3 fewer, moderate certainty), mechanical ventilation (25 fewer per 1000, 44 fewer to 1 fewer, moderate certainty), and increase the number of days free from mechanical ventilation (2.6 more, 0.3 more to 5.0 more, moderate certainty). Interleukin-6 inhibitors probably reduce mechanical ventilation (30 fewer per 1000, 46 fewer to 10 fewer, moderate certainty) and may reduce length of hospital stay (4.3 days fewer, 8.1 fewer to 0.5 fewer, low certainty), but whether or not they reduce mortality is uncertain (15 fewer per 1000, 30 fewer to 6 more, low certainty). Janus kinase inhibitors may reduce mortality (50 fewer per 1000, 84 fewer to no difference, low certainty), mechanical ventilation (46 fewer per 1000, 74 fewer to 5 fewer, low certainty), and duration of mechanical ventilation (3.8 days fewer, 7.5 fewer to 0.1 fewer, moderate certainty). The impact of remdesivir on mortality and most other outcomes is uncertain. The effects of ivermectin were rated as very low certainty for all critical outcomes, including mortality. In patients with non-severe disease, colchicine may reduce mortality (78 fewer per 1000, 110 fewer to 9 fewer, low certainty) and mechanical ventilation (57 fewer per 1000, 90 fewer to 3 more, low certainty). Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon-beta do not appear to reduce risk of death or have an effect on any other patient-important outcome. The certainty in effects for all other interventions was low or very low. CONCLUSION: Corticosteroids and interleukin-6 inhibitors probably confer important benefits in patients with severe covid-19. Janus kinase inhibitors appear to have promising benefits, but certainty is low. Azithromycin, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir-ritonavir, and interferon-beta do not appear to have any important benefits. Whether or not remdesivir, ivermectin, and other drugs confer any patient-important benefit remains uncertain. SYSTEMATIC REVIEW REGISTRATION: This review was not registered. The protocol is publicly available in the supplementary material. READERS' NOTE: This article is a living systematic review that will be updated to reflect emerging evidence. Updates may occur for up to two years from the date of original publication. This is the fourth version of the original article published on 30 July 2020 (BMJ 2020;370:m2980), and previous versions can be found as data supplements. When citing this paper please consider adding the version number and date of access for clarity.


Subject(s)
Antiviral Agents/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/isolation & purification , Coronavirus Infections/therapy , Pneumonia, Viral/therapy , Respiration, Artificial/statistics & numerical data , Adenosine Monophosphate/analogs & derivatives , Adenosine Monophosphate/therapeutic use , Alanine/analogs & derivatives , Alanine/therapeutic use , Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , COVID-19 , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S./statistics & numerical data , China/epidemiology , Coronavirus Infections/diagnosis , Coronavirus Infections/drug therapy , Coronavirus Infections/mortality , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Databases, Factual/statistics & numerical data , Drug Combinations , Evidence-Based Medicine/methods , Evidence-Based Medicine/statistics & numerical data , Glucocorticoids/therapeutic use , Humans , Hydroxychloroquine/therapeutic use , Lopinavir/therapeutic use , Network Meta-Analysis , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/diagnosis , Pneumonia, Viral/mortality , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic , Ritonavir/therapeutic use , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index , Standard of Care , Treatment Outcome , United States/epidemiology
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