Is there a drug for coronavirus?

Description: BCG, a tuberculosis vaccine, is the new avenue to control Covid-19. At the same time, an extensive chloroquine trial will be carried out in 33 French health establishments.

Today, there is no treatment for Covid-19 yet, but several drugs are being tested. The most promising is chloroquine. After a first test conducted on 24 patients at the beginning of the epidemic in France, Professor Didier Raoult, specialist in infectious diseases at the University Hospital Institute (IHU) of Marseille, published on Friday, March 27, 2020 the conclusions of a second study on the effects of this molecule, usually used as an antimalarial, in the treatment of Covid-19. The experiment, carried out at the IHU mediterranean infection, involved 80 rather young patients.

From 6 to 10 days, subjects received a combination of hydroxy chloroquine (3 x 200 mg daily) and azithromycin (an antibiotic). 81% of the patients had a “favourable outcome”. After 10 days, 13 patients were still in intensive care and one 86-year-old patient died. The Professor points out that after 8 days the viral load was undetectable in 93% of the patients. However, Professor Raoult’s demonstrations remain decried by part of the medical profession.

Chloroquine (a widespread antimalarial drug) is a hot topic in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic. In order to confirm or deny the effects of this molecule in the treatment of the new coronavirus, the CHU of Angers and 33 French hospitals will carry out a vast experiment. The study, called Hycovid, will be carried out on 1,300 virus-positive subjects over 75 years of age. “They will receive either hydroxy chloroquine or a placebo, without knowing the nature of the tablet being tested. Their consent will be requested”, explained Professor Alain Mercat, president of the medical commission of the University Hospital Center of Angers. Vincent Dubée, instigator of the programme, assured: “This study will be carried out under conditions that will leave no room for doubt. »

On Friday 20 March 2020, the Discovery project was also launched on a European scale. This study aims to test treatments on 3,200 European patients hospitalized for severe forms of Covid-19. Each quarter of the patients will receive a different treatment: either symptomatic (which treats the symptoms but not the disease itself), Remdesivir (this antiviral prevents the virus from adapting its genetic code to the patient), Kaletra (used for HIV-positive patients) or Kaletra combined with beta interferon. A trial with chloroquine, on a large sample of patients, has been added and started on Monday, March 23, 2020. Another will involve plasma from healed people being injected back into the patients. The first results are expected in early May. Piloted by the Institute for Immunology, Inflammation, Infectiology and Microbiology in France, this clinical trial, coordinated by Inserm, involves 800 French patients hospitalized in five establishments (in Paris, Lille, Lyon, Nantes and Strasbourg).