A global healthcare company in Switzerland that goes by the name of Novartis has come to a contract with the U.S. government for working on a trial medicine for COVID-19.
The drug under trial is an antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine, which will be tested on 440 admitted patients in hospitals who are suffering from the coronavirus.
Although there is no evidence if it is effective against COVID-19, but for now, it has been permitted by the FDA to use it in extreme cases.
The company’s top drug developer says that they are looking forward to finding any scientific evidence that recommends this drug to be beneficial against the coronavirus.
Earlier, this drug was also recommended by the U.S. President Donald Trump in his press conferences as a remedy for COVID-19, which was worrisome for some agencies because this is an unproven drug against this virus.
Hydroxychloroquine is not just an antimalarial; it is also used to treat autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It is a drug with minimal side effects, so it was approved by the FDA to be used in the trial.
Coronavirus is a respiratory virus and most patients present with fever, cough, and weakness. However, the majority of patients recover within two or three weeks. In some patients, this infection causes multiple organ damage, and those patients need to care immediately.
If the condition further deteriorates and the patient develops respiratory distress, the prognosis becomes questionable. The patient is either shifted on a ventilator or succumbs to death.
Since hydroxychloroquine was already being used against malaria and some autoimmune type of arthritis, it showed a little antiviral activity. The investigation has started to explore the role of this drug.