Austell Pharmaceuticals has announced that it will be donating 500 000 chloroquine phosphate tablets to the South African government in its fight against the spread of the coronavirus.
The malaria drug is one of about 70 treatments that is currently being studied in trials around the globe because of the in-vitro activity it has shown against SARS-CoV, SARS CoV-2 and other coronaviruses. A study in China reported that chloroquine treatment of COVID-19 patients had clinical and virologic benefit versus a comparison group, and chloroquine was added as a recommended antiviral for treatment of COVID-19 in China1.
However, there is still no approved drugs specifically for the treatment of patients with COVID-19. At present clinical management includes infection prevention and control measures and supportive care, including supplementary oxygen and mechanical ventilatory support when indicated.
Source: Austell Pharmaceuticals*
Wang M, et al. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell Res. 2020 Mar;30(3):269-271.