How effective is a new triple antiviral therapy against COVID-19?

Medical, Tablets, Pills, Drug, Health, Pharmacy, Ill

Bottom Line:

An antiviral trial therapy that combines interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir and ribavirin has been shown to effectively alleviate symptoms and shorten viral replication in patients with COVID-19.


Hung, I. F.-N. et al. Triple combination of interferon beta-1b, lopinavir–ritonavir, and ribavirin in the treatment of patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19: an open-label, randomised, phase 2 trial. The Lancet (2020).

Date Published:

8 May 2020


With the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, finding an effective antiviral therapy is critical. In this phase 2 clinical trial study, 127 COVID-19 infected patients in Hong Kong were randomly assigned to receive either the triple combination therapy (lopinavir-ritonavir, ribavarin and interferon beta-1b) or the control therapy (only lopinavir-ritonavir) for 14 days. Those that received the triple therapy had significantly lower levels of viral detection and a decrease in viral replication duration compared to the control group. Furthermore, patients in the combination group demonstrated alleviation of their symptoms following therapy as well as a shortened hospital stay. No differences in side effects were observed between both groups. Though further clinical studies are required to establish its true efficacy, the triple combination antiviral therapy shows great promise in the treatment and management of COVID-19.

Summary by: Edwin Wong