Chloroquine Found Effective Against Coronavirus
Preliminary clinical results in China show that Chloroquine Phosphate, used as anti-malarial, is quite effective in treating novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pneumonia.
Recall the Chloroquine Phosphate was banned in Nigeria 14 years ago.
Several other antiviral drugs to treat the novel coronavirus outbreak in China that has claimed over 1,500 lives are under clinical trials and some have shown fairly good efficacy, a Chinese official said.
Chinese researchers have narrowed down their focus to a few existing drugs, including Chloroquine Phosphate, Favipiravir and Remdesivir, after multiple rounds of screening, Zhang Xinmin, director of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, told reporters in Beijing.
In vitro experiments have shown that Chloroquine Phosphate, an antimalarial drug which has been widely used for many years, can effectively inhibit the novel coronavirus infection.
It is now under clinical trials in more than 10 hospitals in Beijing and Guangdong, which enrolled a total of over 100 patients. Clinical trials on the drug will also be launched in central China’s Hunan Province soon, Zhang was quoted as saying in the state-run Xinhua news agency.
Favipiravir, an influenza drug available on overseas markets, has been put in a clinical trial in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, with 70 patients enlisted, he said.
The initial outcome of the trial shows the drug has relatively obvious efficacy and low adverse reactions.
‘Three to four days after treatment, the group that takes the drug has a significantly higher turning-negative rate in the viral nucleic acid than the parallel group,’ he said.
Remdesivir is developed against Ebola infections by Gilead Sciences, an American pharmaceutical company. It has shown fairly good antiviral activity against the novel coronavirus at the cellular level.
The China-Japan Friendship Hospital and the Institute of Materia Medica under the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences have been authorised to conduct a clinical trial on the drug in over 10 hospitals in Wuhan, the centre of the epidemic in central China’s Hubei Province.
‘Next, we will make timely recommendations on the COVID-19 treatment according to the results of these clinical trials,’ Zhang said.
Reported by Press Trust of India