The news of a potential drug developed almost half a century ago to treat malaria is transmitting positive signs that it may also cure COVID-19. Experts and President trump are optimistic about this drug when combined with antibiotics have resulted in significant results.
Hydroxychloroquine, with the brand name Plaquenil, was announced to be effective in killing the deadly virus in laboratory experiments, Forbes reported.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday that drug trials to test coronavirus treatments would commence in the state early Tuesday. His announcement comes after President Trump on Thursday claimed the Food and Drug Administration approved one of the compounds for clinical trials, as New York grows as the epicenter for the pandemic in the U.S.
Throughout Sunday’s press briefing, Cuomo reported that 750,000 doses of Chloroquine, 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine, and 10,000 doses of Zithromax were obtained by New York state for the trial.
The drugs, Chloroquine (an anti-malaria drug), and hydroxychloroquine (used for lupus and arthritis) have already been approved by the FDA for clinical trials as potential coronavirus treatments, while Zithromax is a brand-name antibiotic. ZITHROMAX (azithromycin tablets and oral suspension) carries the active ingredient azithromycin, a macrolide antibacterial drug, for oral administration.
As many criticized the president for his early assumptions, Cuomo expressed how he believes, “The president is optimistic about these drugs, and we are all optimistic that it could work.”
During his press conference, Trump said Thursday that he spoke with Cuomo regarding Chloroquine before the FDA’s go-ahead for clinical trials and that Cuomo desired to be “first in line” for testing the treatments.
HISTORY OF THE DRUG:
Quinine was first acknowledged as a potent antimalarial agent centuries ago. The beneficial effects of quinine have been used for years. However, its more potent synthetic forms, Chloroquine, and hydroxychloroquine have been increasingly popular in a myriad of other diseases in addition to malaria.
Antimalarials continued to have various immunomodulatory effects, including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, skin diseases, and the treatment of chronic Q fever.
Hydroxychloroquine is manufactured in metallic countries; however, the primary producer is known as Taj Pharma. Taj Pharma is the largest generic pharmaceutical company in India. Hydroxychloroquine is manufactured and exported to all Middle East countries and the other regions like Europe, Thailand, Bangladesh, North America, South America, Russia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
As clinical trials race to be approved, experts have discussed the known various immunomodulatory mechanisms of antimalarials. While also researching the current evidence for their beneficial effects in multiple diseases and potential novel treatments.
However, the results do not prove that the two drugs can effectively treat coronavirus. The FDA commissioner Dr. Stephen Hahn explained that “We may have the right drug, but [chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine] might not be in the appropriate dosage form right now, and it might do more harm than good.”
The study included a total of 36 patients — 20 treated individuals and 16 infected controls — were enrolled in the research, led by Didier Raoult, an infectious disease expert from’ Institut Hospitals-Universitaire in Marseille.
600 mg of Plaquenil each day was given to the participants.
The experts found that 50 percent of the treated group shifted from positive to negative for the virus three days — and by day six, that was up 70 percent.
Of the 20 test patients, six who were treated with both Plaquenil and the antibiotic azithromycin showed dramatic results — with five testings negative on day three. All six of them tested negative on day six.
The study concluded, “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.”
While researchers discovered that a pill, including two HIV drugs advertised as a potential treatment for COVID-19, was not sufficient, a trial of Chinese patients with a severe case of the coronavirus discovered that the 99 who received AbbVie Inc.’s Kaletra, a cocktail of lopinavir and ritonavir, did not do any better than the 100 who obtained standard care.
New York state’s hospitalization rate has lowered to 13%, with 1,974 people hospitalized. However, the state is fighting to increase hospital beds and secure ventilators to face the expected peak in positive cases, Cuomo announced.
As of now, the state has 53,000 hospital beds available, and at the outbreak’s spike in the next coming weeks will require an estimated 110,000, Cuomo stated. The governor has issued an emergency order for all hospitals to expand the capacity of 50% to 100%. Messages are being delivered to retired health professionals begging them to return to service to help with the influx of COVID-19 patients. New York has also asked all insurance companies to send their medically trained health official to help.
Cuomo announced in his realization that he would also ask the Federal Emergency Management Agency to design four federal hospitals at the Javits Center with 250 beds each for a result of 1,000 beds.
The FEMA hospitals come fully equipped and staffed to ensure the quickest transitions. Last week, President Donald Trump Friday declared New York state a major disaster area and announced the federal government would support in helping to curb the pandemic.
New York is competing against other states and countries to receive medical supplies Like ventilators, masks, and gowns, he said, and that is initiating price gouging.
There are now 20,875 confirmed cases across the state. Of those new numbers, 87 are in Erie County, according to the governor’s office. More than half of all cases in the U.S fall in the state.