Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in clinical studies
Gao et al.
, Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia..
, BioScience Trends, 2020, doi:10.5582/bst.2020.01047
Results from 15 clinical trials in China showing CQ is effective.
Gao et al., 19 Feb 2020, peer-reviewed, 3 authors.
BioScience Trends. 2020; 14(1):72-73.
Breakthrough: Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent
efficacy in treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in
Jianjun Gao1,*, Zhenxue Tian2, Xu Yang2
Department of Pharmacology, School of Pharmacy, Qingdao University, Qingdao, China;
Department of Pharmacy, Qingdao Municipal Hospital, Qingdao, China.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus is spreading rapidly, and scientists are endeavoring
to discover drugs for its efficacious treatment in China. Chloroquine phosphate, an old drug for
treatment of malaria, is shown to have apparent efficacy and acceptable safety against COVID-19
associated pneumonia in multicenter clinical trials conducted in China. The drug is recommended
to be included in the next version of the Guidelines for the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment
of Pneumonia Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health Commission of the People's
Republic of China for treatment of COVID-19 infection in larger populations in the future.
COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2, 2019-nCoV, pneumonia, chloroquine
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus,
emerged in December 2019, has spread rapidly,
with cases now confirmed in multiple countries. As
of February 16, 2020, the virus has caused 70,548
infections and 1,770 deaths in mainland China and 413
infections in Japan (1). A great deal of effort has been
made to find effective drugs against the virus in China (2).
On February 17, 2020, the State Council of China held
a news briefing indicating that chloroquine phosphate,
an old drug for treatment of malaria, had demonstrated
marked efficacy and acceptable safety in treating
COVID-19 associated pneumonia in multicenter clinical
trials conducted in China (3).
In the early in vitro studies, chloroquine was found
to block COVID-19 infection at low-micromolar
concentration, with a half-maximal effective
concentration (EC50) of 1.13 μM and a half-cytotoxic
concentration (CC50) greater than 100 μM (4). A number
of subsequent clinical trials (ChiCTR2000029939,
ChiCTR2000029559, and ChiCTR2000029542) have
been quickly conducted in China to test the efficacy
and safety of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine in the
treatment of COVID-19 associated pneumonia in more
than 10 hospitals in Wuhan, Jingzhou, Guangzhou,
Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, and Ningbo (5). Thus far,
results from more than 100 patients have demonstrated
that chloroquine phosphate is superior to the control
treatment in inhibiting the exacerbation of pneumonia,
improving lung imaging findings, promoting a virusnegative conversion, and shortening the disease
course according to the news briefing. Severe adverse
reactions to chloroquine phosphate were not noted in
the aforementioned patients. Given these findings, a
conference was held on February 15, 2020; participants
including experts from government and regulatory
authorities and organizers of clinical trials reached
an agreement that chloroquine phosphate has potent
activity against COVID-19. The drug is recommended
for inclusion in the next version of the Guidelines for
the Prevention, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Pneumonia
Caused by COVID-19 issued by the National Health
Commission of the..
is less effective
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