• Since coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) emerged in Wuhan, China in December 2019 and spread around the world, over 1100 clinical studies have been registered globally on clinical trials registries, including over 500 randomised controlled trials.
• Such rapid development and launch of clinical trials is impressive but presents challenges, including the potential for duplication and competition.
• There is currently no known effective treatment for COVID-19.
• In order to focus on those studies most likely to influence clinical practice, we summarise the 31 currently registered randomised trials with a target sample size of at least 1000 participants.
• We have grouped these trials into four categories: prophylaxis; treatment of outpatients with mild COVID-19; treatment of hospitalised patients with moderate COVID-19; and treatment of hospitalised patients with moderate or severe disease.
• The most common therapeutic agent being trialled currently is hydroxychloroquine (24 trials with potential sample size of over 25 000 participants), followed by lopinavir–ritonavir (seven trials) and remdesevir (five trials)
• There are many candidate drugs in pre-clinical and early phase development, and these form a pipeline for future large clinical trials if current candidate therapies prove ineffective or unsafe.