ANTICOV logo The ANTICOV clinical trial responds to the urgent need to identify treatments that can be used to treat mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 early and prevent spikes in hospitalizations that could overwhelm fragile and already overburdened health systems in Africa.

Launched in November 2020, the trial is being carried out at 19 sites in 13 countries by the ANTICOV consortium, which includes 26 prominent African and global research and development (R&D) organizations, coordinated by the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi).

Countries hosting ANTICOV clinical trial sites

ANTICOV is an open-label, randomised, comparative, ‘adaptive platform trial’ that will test the safety and efficacy of treatments in 2,000 to 3,000 mild-to-moderate COVID-19 patients. ANTICOV aims to identify early treatments that can prevent progression of COVID-19 to severe disease and potentially limit transmission.

The initial focus of the ANTICOV trial are repurposed drugs where large-scale randomized clinical trials can provide missing efficacy data in mild-to-moderate patients. Safe and affordable repurposed drugs such as amodiaquine, atazanavir/ritonavir, ivermectin, nitazoxanide and ciclesonide are being reviewed.

ANTICOV is an adaptive platform trial, a flexible and innovative trial design that allows for treatments to be added or removed as evidence emerges.

New treatments will be added as evidence of their potential for mild-to-moderate cases emerges. ANTICOV researchers are actively looking to select the most promising treatments from ongoing global scientific efforts with proof of efficacy, in collaboration with the Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator (ACT-A) Therapeutics Partnership, co-convened by Unitaid and Wellcome on behalf of the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator.

Major funding for the ANTICOV consortium is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) through KfW and by the global health agency Unitaid as part of ACT-A. Early support to launch the initiative was provided by the European & Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP), under its second programme supported by the European Union with additional funding from the Swedish government, and the Starr International Foundation, Switzerland.

We welcome the ANTICOV trial led by African doctors because it will help answer one of our most pressing questions: with limited intensive care facilities in Africa, can we treat people for COVID-19 earlier and stop our hospitals from being overwhelmed?

Dr John Nkengasong, Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention

‘Treating patients suffering from mild forms of the COVID-19 infection before they evolve into more severe disease and require hospitalisation is a critical challenge around the world. The ANTICOV trial is designed with this objective in mind, aiming to find safe and effective treatments that work for everyone.’

Dr Nick Cammack, COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator Lead at Wellcome, co-convener of the ACT-Accelerator Therapeutic Partnership, United Kingdom 

Project updates

April 2021

ANTICOV has started the recruitment of participants to test a new potential treatment that combines the well-known antiparasitic nitazoxanide and the inhaled corticosteroid ciclesonide. The first participants in the new study arm have been recruited in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republic of Guinea. In the coming weeks, additional trial sites will enrol participants in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, Sudan, and Uganda. Read the press release

November 2020

Thirteen African countries and an international network of research institutions have joined forces to launch ANTICOV, the largest COVID-19 clinical trial in mild-to-moderate outpatients in Africa. Read the press release