Chloroquine, an old malaria drug, may help treat the novel coronavirus, according to a renowned French research professor who has reported successful early tests suggesting it can stop the virus from being contagious in just six days.
President Trump says he will have an exciting announcement today in conjunction with the FDA possibly about the drug.
Chloroquine is effective in treating SARS, and investigative studies have found it will be an effective treatment and prevention for COVID-19. And it’s an anti-inflamatory.
An acclaimed research professor in France revealed successful results of a potential treatment for COVID-19, the coronavirus, The Connexion reports.
What’s going on:
Professor Didier Raoult, who works for the infection hospital l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire (IHU) Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, published a new video in which he explained that the COVID-19 patients who were treated “with the drug chloroquine had seen a rapid and effective speeding up of their healing process, and a sharp decrease in the amount of time they remained contagious,” according to The Connexion, an English site for French news.
Chloroquine has previously been used to prevent and treat malaria.
The drug was offered to 24 patients, who were among the first 24 to become infected in France’s southeastern region.
Patients were given the drug for 10 days. Researchers monitored the patients since the drug can cause severe side effects.
Raoult said those who did not receive the drug were still contagious after six days. Those who tried the drug were only 25% contagious, though.
Janet Diaz, the head of clinical care for WHO’s emergency program, issued a statement in February about whether this drug could cure patients, saying it needs more trials.
“At this moment in time there is no proven effective treatment for COVID-19 so that is clear at this moment in time. However there are ongoing clinical trials being done in China at this moment as well. The two that we’ve already discussed are testing the priority therapeutics that were prioritized by the WHO R&D blueprints and that includes lopinavir and ritonavir as well as remdesivir. For chloroquine there is no proof that that is an effective treatment at this time. We recommend that therapeutics be tested under ethically approved clinical trials to show efficacy and safety.”
First of all, it appears that China has started mass producing an anti-flu drug called Avigan that a Chinese firm licensed from the Japanese creators of the drug.
“Zhang Xinmin, director of the National Center for Biotechnology Development, named the drug at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday,” NHK World-Japan reported yesterday, March 17.
“He said the drug was found to be effective in clinical trials by two medical organizations in the country. He said the medicine worked for coronavirus-related symptoms including pneumonia and had no obvious side effects.”
The drug was tested on 240 patients in Wuhan, the epicenter of the coronavirus breakout, and 80 patients in Shenzhen, which happens to be home of cleantech giant BYD and has 100% electric buses (tens of thousands of them) and taxis (just to throw in a bit of a cleantech angle for a moment).
Without the drug, patients in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after 11 days, whereas patients who took Avigan turned negative after a median of 4 days. Lung conditions of 91% of patients who took the drug improved versus 62% of patients who didn’t take it.
“The director said the drug is highly safe and its effect is obvious, and formally recommend the use of the medicine as a way to tackle the virus.”
China has had more than 80,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases so far, by far the most of any country so far, but only 21 new cases were confirmed on Monday and the country had its first day of 0 (zero) new cases on Wednesday (today in the US still, for a little while longer).