Drugs already approved to treat malaria might be effective in treating the symptoms of mild-to-moderate cases of the coronavirus, according to multiple reports.
The United States Food & Drug Administration announced Thursday that they were investigating the usage of the drug chloroquine to treat mild-to-moderate COVID-19 cases.
Chloroquine has already been approved to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, with the FDA stating that they hope it can be used to “potentially reduce the duration of symptoms, as well as viral shedding, which can help prevent the spread of disease.”
“Studies are underway to determine the efficacy in using chloroquine to treat COVID-19,” explained the FDA. “While there are no FDA-approved therapeutics or drugs to treat, cure or prevent COVID-19, there are several FDA-approved treatments that may help ease the symptoms from a supportive care perspective.”
French researchers also published a recent study which found that hydroxychloroquine, sold under the brand name Plaquenil, might also help in treating COVID-19.
Amanda Woods of the New York Post reported Wednesday on the study, which was led by Didier Raoult of l’Institut Hospitalo-Universitaire in Marseille.
The study had 36 participants, comprised of 20 treated persons and 16 infected controls, in which the treated group was given 600 mg of Plaquenil daily.
Researchers found that half of the treated group went from positive to negative for the virus by day three and then by the day six, it increased to 70 percent.
“Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine treatment is significantly associated with viral load reduction/disappearance in COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin,” explained the study.
Research had previously been done on using a pill containing anti-HIV drugs to treat the virus. However, results showed it to be ineffective, according to the New York Post.
The investigation into using anti-malaria drugs to treat COVID-19 comes as a doctor has stated that he might be a month from developing a way to stop the coronavirus.
Distributed Bio co-founder and CEO Dr. Jacob Glanville explained on a recent episode of the Fox News program "The Story with Martha MacCallum" that his team was working on a way to “neutralize the virus.”
“What my company is doing is adapting antibodies to recognize and neutralize the novel coronavirus,” explained Glanville, as reported by Fox News. “Instead of giving you a vaccine and waiting for it to produce an immune response, we just give you those antibodies right away. And so within about 20 minutes, that patient has the ability to neutralize the virus.”
According to Glanville, once engineered, the treatment will be sent to the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, with human experiments expected by July.