The Briefing provides an at-a-glance view of some important developments in the information universe surrounding COVID-19. The views presented here are solely those of ECRI Horizon Scanning and have not been vetted by other stakeholders.

   Download this Scan

Although there are signs that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is over, hundreds of people die from COVID-19 or from COVID-19–related complications each day in the US, making COVID-19 the third-leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer, for the third year in a row. New treatments are needed (see Topics to Watch for a new small-molecule drug), not just for COVID-19 but also in preparation for future emerging infectious diseases. The Cumming Global Centre for Pandemic Therapeutics (CGCPT) in Australia hopes to go beyond the small-molecule model to find a new platform to repurpose drugs as threats arise.

Some hospitals are also preparing for future pandemics with large-scale remodeling projects based on lessons learned about surge capacity, flexible use of space, and ventilation needs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Outpatient centers, however, have not initiated the same level of response and the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection during routine doctor’s office visits largely remains. Outbreaks have been traced to outpatient clinics and a sample suggests that many are unlikely to meet minimum Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for air changes per hour.

A global private venture is looking at treatments to help in the aftermath of infectious disease. The Long Covid Research Initiative (LCRI) launched a program to cover tissue biopsy studies, autopsy and imaging studies, blood-based biomarker studies (see Topics to Watch for a new diagnostic), studies of the consequences of SARS-CoV-2 persistence, and studies on pathogenic reactivation and impacts on the human microbiome.

IncellKINE Long COVID In Vitro Diagnostic to Diagnose Post-COVID Conditions

At a Glance

  • IncellKINE is a blood test intended to diagnose post-COVID conditions (PCC) and differentiate it from acute COVID-19 based on patterns of inflammatory markers.
  • It quantifies 14 cytokines and chemokines, proteins that are key modulators of the body’s immune response, which are then examined for patterns with a machine learning algorithm.
  • A published study of IncellKINE found it was 97% accurate in identifying patients with PCC and 88% accurate in correctly identifying patients with severe COVID-19.
  • Although no diagnostic tests are authorized in the United States for PCC, individuals can access IncellKINE online for off-label use. IncellKINE received marketing approval in the European Union in September 2022.

Sarconeos (BIO101) to Treat Severe COVID-19

At a Glance

  • Sarconeos (BIO101) is a small-molecule drug being developed to prevent further respiratory deterioration in hospitalized adults with severe COVID-19 at risk of respiratory failure or death.
  • Sarconeos intends to activate the Mas receptor, part of the protective arm of the renin-angiotensin system (RAS), to rebalance the RAS and improve respiratory function.
  • Recently reported phase 2/3 clinical data showed Sarconeos produced a 39% lower relative risk of respiratory failure or early death at day 28 compared with placebo, although this finding did not achieve statistical significance. Sarconeos did significantly delay progression of respiratory failure or early death at day 28 compared with placebo.
  • Sarconeos’ developer Biophytis might amend and continue an Early Access Program to make Sarconeos available as early as this winter, which might help enable a later regulatory submission to the FDA.

Return to the Main Page Download this COVID-19 Scan

Commentary in this COVID-19 Scan reflects preliminary views of ECRI Horizon Scanning and internal ECRI stakeholders.
The information contained in this document has not been vetted by other stakeholders.

We welcome your comments on this Scan. Send them by email to [email protected].

Posted: September 29, 2022

What's Happening at PCORI?

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute sends weekly emails about opportunities to apply for funding, newly funded research studies and engagement projects, results of our funded research, webinars, and other new information posted on our site.

Subscribe to PCORI Emails


Hand pointing to email icon