Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, announced that it is launching a clinical trial to investigate the drug chloroquine to treat COVID-19. The trial is one of 20 concurrent chloroquine studies around the world, researchers said.
“This study went from conception to first patient enrolled in 13 days,” said Dr. Rachel Presti, an Associate Professor of Medicine and Co-Lead of the trial. “That’s just unheard of.”
The Washington University trial will look at different combinations of chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, and the antibiotic azithromycin. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been used to treat malaria and some inflammatory conditions. Azithromycin is an antibiotic used to treat infections caused by bacteria, including respiratory, skin, ear, and eye infections.
The goal is to determine if any of the medications decrease the severity or duration of respiratory symptoms associated with the new coronavirus.