Patient-volunteers for clinical trials will be key in the fight against COVID-19. Sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Fast Grants, my company, Cytel, is tracking more than 1,500 ­COVID-related clinical trials worldwide, 313 of them in the US, of which 194 are actively recruiting. They’ll need more than 175,000 participants to complete all of this research. Here’s what you need to know if you want to get involved…

Why participate? Volunteering allows everyday people to join the front lines in the battle against coronavirus. If the trial therapy works, you’ll be among the first to be treated with it, ahead of regulatory and manufacturing delays.

What’s being studied? Trials are ­underway to better understand risk factors and disease behavior, as well as effectiveness of drug therapies and vaccines.

Is it safe? Many therapies being studied have been used extensively in other contexts, so they have well-known safety profiles…other therapies are new. No treatment is without potential side effects and interactions with other medications, which can vary from person to person. Medically trained staff will explain the safety of each trial and risk factors. Participants can withdraw consent at any time. 

Do you need to have tested positive for COVID-19? No. Trials exist for healthy individuals without risk factors for infection…for people who test negative but are at high risk for exposure…for patients with mild disease…and for hospitalized and critical patients. 

How do you get involved? The sites below allow you to search for trials in your area. Or ask your health-care provider what’s available. Read the materials to decide whether any trial is right for you.