In a press conference on Thursday, President Trump said that, Chloroquine, a drug commonly used to fight malaria and certain liver infections, has shown that it could be potentially used to treat people infected with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
“There is evidence that Chloroquine is effective when they looked at SARS in vitro with primate cells,” Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, told ABC News.
“The theory of the experiment with primate cells was that Chloroquine could be for preventing viral infection or as a treatment for viral infection after it had occurred.”Dr. Len Horovitz, Pulmonologist, Lenox Hill Hospital
WHO to start multinational clinical trials
On Wednesday the WHO announced that it is bringing online a multinational clinical trial of several drugs to combat COVID-19, Chloroquine is one of these drugs.
Argentina, Bahrain, Canada, France, Iran, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland and Thailand will take part in the clinical trials.
So far Chloroquine has show promise in testing with primates. The way the drug works is by blocking the host cell’s receptors from binding with the coronavirus. There is a certain type of protein on the surface of the coronavirus which binds to the human host cell. Chloroquine is supposed to block binding this binding.
In theory Chloroquine is supposed to work by interfering with the receptors on the surface of human cells and thereby stopping infection.
Chloroquine is working against SARS, and researchers believe there that the same could be true of COVID-19.
“The way that it worked against SARS was by preventing of the attachment of the virus to the cells. Chloroquine interfered with the attachment to that receptor on the cell membrane surface. So it’s disrupting a lock and key kind of mechanism of attachment.”Dr. Len Horovitz, Pulmonologist, Lenox Hill Hospital
China reports that Chloroquine showed promise
Xinhua, the state owned Chinese news outlet said that was effective against COVID-19.
South Korea and Belgium are also treating patients with COVID-19, according to Business Insider.
Bayer donates Chloroquine to US
According to Axios, Bayer is donating millions of pills of Chloroquine to the US government.
It is important to note that Chloroquine has not been approved yet by the FDA as a treatment for the coronavirus (COVID-19) however evidence is suggesting that it could be a novel treatment for the coronavirus.
Some are saying that it could work just as good or even better than Remdesivir, which is already in clinical trials as a treatment for COVID-19.