Despite the challenges of the pandemic, there has been substantial progress with COVID-19 therapies. Pivotal COVID-19 trials like SOLIDARITY, RECOVERY and ACCT-1 were rapidly conducted and data disseminated to support effective therapies.. However, critical shortcomings remain on trial conduct, dissemination and interpretation of study results, and regulatory guidance in pandemic settings. The lessons we learned have implications for both the current pandemic and future emerging infectious diseases. There is a need for establishing and standardizing clinical meaningful outcomes in therapeutic trials and for targeting defined populations and phenotypes that will most benefit from specific therapies. Standardized processes should be established for rapid and critical data review and dissemination to ensure scientific integrity. Clarity around the evidence standards needed for issuance of both Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) and Biologic License Application (BLA) should be established and an infrastructure for executing rapid trials in epidemic settings maintained.