Biomarkers heavily used as diagnostic tools in COVID-19 trials

Biomarkers are a beneficial tool in the search for a COVID-19 vaccine and will help speed up clinical trials, reduce costs of development, guide subject selection, reduce patient safety risks and allow for easier verification of the mechanism of action, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

According to GlobalData’s Biomarkers database, the top two biomarkers being utilized for COVID-19 trials are diagnostic markers – the first being Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is currently being used in approximately 30% of COVID-19 trials; and the second being Coronavirus Nucleic Acid, which is being included in just over 5% of trials. Other biomarkers used in COVID-19 trials included C-reactive protein, lymphocytes, and SARS-CoV-2 RNA.

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Priya Nair, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Biomarkers can quickly and accurately identify severe cases of COVID-19. A study analyzing 28 samples  of COVID-19 from the Zunyi District in China found that serum urea, creatinine (CREA), and cystatin C (CysC) concentrations in severe COVID-19 patients were significantly higher than those in mild COVID-19 patient cases, suggesting that these serum biomarkers can play a key role in the early diagnosis of severe COVID-19.”

Biomarkers can also be used to determine which drugs might be able to treat COVID-19 patients. Some patients with COVID-19 get severe pneumonia.

Nair continues: “Research has shown that IL-6, which can act as a biomarker for increased immune response and inflammation, is more apparent in patients suffering from pneumonia. All but two of the clinical trials highlighted by the GlobalData Clinical Trials Database that have reported results used biomarkers, and all of the trials that achieved their endpoints used biomarkers. As the number of COVID-19 trials continues to increase, it is expected that many of these will use biomarkers to help trial progression and assist in the diagnosis of patients.”

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