An analyst obtained the abstract for the 100 patient, Chinese trial and the data suggested no benefit with hydroxychloroquine compared to placebo. The data in the abstract showed the virological clearance rate at seven days was 87% with hydroxychloroquine compared to 93% with placebo, but temperature normalization was similar.
In a 199 patient, Chinese, open-label trial, treatment with lopinavir–ritonavir twice daily for 14 days plus standard care did not improve time to clinical improvement compared to standard care alone in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and oxygen saturation of 94% or lower. Mortality at 28 days was non-significantly lower with lopinavir–ritonavir (19%) compared to standard care alone (25%). An editorial pointed out that lopinavir–ritonavir was started late into the infection as evidenced by the compromised lung function.
AbbVie is waiving any patent or exclusivity claims for Kaletra in all countries, so generic copies can be made to help meet increasing demand for the drug for use as a treatment for COVID-19 infections.
Preclinical COVID-19 Research
Researchers examined coronavirus’s genes and human proteins targeted by the coronavirus. The team then evaluated whether existing approved or investigational drugs could block the effect of the virus on the coronavirus proteins in human cells. There were 69 drugs identified with 24 already being approved for other indications. Some of the drugs such as chloroquine are already being tested. Researchers in France and the U.S. are testing 22 of the drugs.
Effect of COVID-19 in Non-Coronovirus Medical Research
Medical meetings are important platforms to announce the results of clinical research. Results from trials for investigational drugs are presented at these meetings. Due to social distancing from the COVID-19 pandemic, these meetings are starting to be canceled with results of research moved to online presentations. The most recent meeting to be canceled is ASCO, where high profile oncology research is presented.