How is the WHO trial registry network responding to the COVID-19 pandemic?

To mark Clinical Trials Day, ISRCTN registry Database Manager Claire Veryard describes how the primary trial registries in the World Health Organization (WHO) International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) network have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Outside of China and neighboring locations, studies on COVID-19 started to be added to clinical trial registries in March 2020. Registries have responded by updating policies and procedures to make information on clinical research rapidly accessible to all.

Facilitating searching

Following the recognition in February/March 2020 that COVID-19 had spread to locations outside China, the WHO network of primary trial registries has been implementing ways of prioritising COVID-19 research and making it easy to find.

Since 19th March 2020, the WHO has required that all registries ensure that its preferred term ‘COVID-19’ appears in the title of the study. The WHO’s International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP), which aggregates all studies from the 17 primary registries plus ClinicalTrials.gov, has enabled a one-click search for COVID-19-related studies (which is also hosted on ClinicalTrials.gov) and a one-click download.

The Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR) and the EU’s EU-CTR also have one-click searches, while the Chinese Clinical Trial Registry (ChiCTR) has a one-click download into Excel for its more than 600 COVID-19-related studies.