After several clinical trials, Chinese experts have confirmed that Chloroquine Phosphate, an antimalarial drug, has a certain curative effect on the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The experts have “unanimously” suggested the drug be included in the next version of the treatment guidelines and applied in wider clinical trials as soon as possible, Sun Yanrong, deputy head of the China National Center for Biotechnology Development under the Ministry of Science and Technology, said at a press conference.
According to Chinese State media, Xinhua, Chloroquine is undergoing clinical trials in more than ten hospitals in Beijing, Guangdong province, and Hunan province.
A report by The Sun said patients treated with chloroquine demonstrated a better drop in fever, improvement of lung CT images, and required a shorter time to recover compared to parallel groups.
The percentage of patients with negative viral nucleic acid tests was also higher with the anti-malarial drug.
Chloroquine has so far showed no obvious serious adverse reactions in the more than 100 participants in the trials.
The China National Center for Biotechnology Development head Zhang Xinmin said that chloroquine is one of the three drugs that have a promising profile against the new coronavirus, reported China Daily.
The remaining two drugs are anti-flu medicine favipiravir and Gilead’s investigational anti-viral candidate remdesivir.
Favipiravir is currently in a 70-patient trial in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, while remdesivir is under evaluation at more than ten medical institutions in Wuhan.
Chloroquine as treatment for malaria, has been banned in Nigeria since 2005 due to increasing evidence of malaria parasites’ resistance to the drug which has led to treatment failures.