From the Daily Mail:
By BRITTANY CHAIN FOR DAILY MAIL AUSTRALIA and SAM BLANCHARD SENIOR HEALTH REPORTER FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 02:12 EDT, 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 03:15 EDT, 17 March 2020
Drugs used to treat HIV and malaria could be used to tackle the coronavirus, according to scientists in Australia.
A team of infectious disease experts at the University of Queensland in Brisbane say they have seen two existing medications manage to wipe out COVID-19 infections.
Chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, and HIV-suppressing combination lopinavir/ritonavir have both reportedly shown promising results in human tests and made the virus ‘disappear’ in infected patients. …
Queensland researcher, Professor David Paterson, said he hopes to enrol people in larger scale pharmaceutical trials by the end of the month….
Chloroquine is a drug which was once commonly used to prevent and treat malaria.
As humans have developed an increased natural resistance to the mosquito-borne disease, the drug has been used less frequently.
Researchers now believe it may hold the key to treating COVID-19, the latest strain of coronavirus.
Common side affects include muscle problems, loss of appetite and diarrhoea.
In February 2020, Chinese medics determined the drug may be safe and effective in treating coronavirus induced pneumonia.
The combined fixed dose drug has been used in the fight against HIV and AIDS since 2006.
Some of the negative side effects to the drug include diarrhoea, vomiting, feeling tired, headaches, and muscle aches.
Chinese medical researchers suggested the drug had successfully cured coronavirus patients after the December 2019 outbreak.
Requests have been submitted in China to start a clinical trial of the drug to accurately determine its effectiveness in fighting COVID-19.
Australian authorities are also hoping to test the drug on local patients.
Professor Paterson said it wouldn’t be wrong to consider the drugs a possible ‘treatment or cure’ for the deadly respiratory infection. …
Although the treatment had been effective in a smattering of cases, there hasn’t been any controlled testing like what would be needed to test a new drug, Professor Paterson said.
‘That first wave of Chinese patients we had (in Australia), they all did very, very well when they were treated with the HIV drug,’ Professor Paterson said.
‘What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we’re going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs,’ Professor Paterson said.
… It is a type of drug called a protease inhibitor, which works by stopping viruses from using an enzyme called protease, which is vital for them to be able to spread.
Without protease viruses cannot make the fully-matured clones that they need to be able to infect other healthy cells, so the infection can’t spread. ,,,
Chloroquine is already widely used as an antimalarial for travellers and is also approved in the UK for use on people with rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.
Scientists are keen to use an already-approved medication to try and treat the coronavirus because it would cut out the lengthy processes of safety trials – they are already proven to be safe – and getting government approval and manufacturing.
Professor Paterson, an infectious diseases physician, has launched a fundraising appeal alongside the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital to raise money to support the clinical trials.
The Coronavirus Action Fund hopes to raise $750,000 to go toward understanding and better treating COVID-19.
A statement from the organisers says research and trials will be underway as soon as funding is secured.
Rich People, please write Professor Paterson a check for $750,000 right now. Heck, write him a million dollar check.