CORONA (COvid19 Registry of Off-label & New Agents) Project
Director/Lead Investigator: David Fajgenbaum, MD, MBA, MSc
About the Project
The CDCN launched the CORONA Project in March 2020 to identify and track all treatments reported to be used for COVID-19 in an open-source data repository. The CORONA team has reviewed 29,353 papers and extracted 2,399 papers on 590 treatments administered to 437,936 patients with COVID-19, and in continuing to help researchers to prioritize treatments for clinical trials and inform patient care.
All data is made available via our Tableau-based CORONA Viewer that has recorded over 23,000 views to date and counts staff at Google Health, HHS, FDA, and NIH among regular users. You can visit the CORONA database viewer built and managed by Matt Chadsey, owner of Nonlinear Ventures below. We have also written some high level articles about the project and its findings in our CORONA INSIGHTS blog.
The overarching goal of the CORONA project is to advance effective treatments for COVID-19 by highlighting the most promising treatments to pursue, informing optimal clinical trial study design (sample size, target subpopulations), and determining if a drug should move forward to widespread clinical use. While there have been several notable failures in drug repurposing for COVID-19, a handful of drugs, including dexamethasone, heparin and baricitinib, have likely helped save thousands of lives and more treatments are urgently needed for newly diagnosed and soon to- be-diagnosed COVID-19 patients while vaccinations are underway and potential SARS-CoV-2 variants emerge. We’ve identified ~10 additional promising medications that, in collaboration with researchers at the FDA, NIH and elsewhere, we’re hoping to move into randomized control trials.
To further pursue our goal by the end of 2021, we will be expanding our work to also integrate pre-clinical and randomized controlled trial data. We believe that this expanded focus will allow us to more quickly advance promising treatments to clinical care that are supported by broader research findings.
- In May 2020, we completed a systematic review of treatments given to the first 9,152 COVID-19 patients reported in 2500+ papers that was published in Infectious Diseases and Therapy: Treatments Administered to the First 9152 Reported Cases of COVID-19: A Systematic Review – PennMedicine Press Release
- In spring 2020, dexamethasone was identified as a promising treatment approach from data in CORONA months before it was proven effective through a large clinical trial. Inhaled interferon was similarly identified as a promising agent before a trial demonstrated its effectiveness.
- In spring 2020, Dr. Fajgenbaum highlighted the CORONA Project’s progress and lessons from Chasing My Cure on the following outlets: NPR’s Fresh Air, 6ABC, KTLA, FOX5, ABC7, and WRAL.
- In summer 2020, the CORONA Project was profiled by the following outlets: Boston Globe, ABC’s 20/20, and CNN.
- In July 2020, Dr. Fajgenbaum presented about the CORONA Project during the University of Pennsylvania’s COVID-19 Symposium.
- In fall 2020, JAK1/2 inhibition was identified as a promising approach for severe COVID-19 through research in the CSTL (paper under review). The JAK1/2 inhibitor baricitinib was subsequently found to be effective in a large clinical trial.
- In fall 2020, we launched CORONA Insights, a page where we will periodically share posts summarizing key findings uncovered in the CORONA database.
- In December 2020, CORONA Director, Dr. David Fajgenbaum, co-authored an article in the New England Journal of Medicine on Cytokine Storm that involves the immune system attacking vital organs. This can occur in Castleman disease and COVID-19.
- In January 2021, CORONA partnered with the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy to expand its scope. See the press release here.