WHO discontinuing trials of hydroxychloroquine, HIV drugs on COVID-19 patients

The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality.

Read more: Global trial of hydroxychloroquine as coronavirus treatment to resume

“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multi-country trials that the agency is leading.

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The U.N. agency said that the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee, does not affect other studies where the drugs are used for non-hospitalized patients or as a prophylaxis.

Another arm of the WHO-led trial is looking at the potential effect of Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir on COVID-19.

© 2020 Reuters

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