The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) said it launched a clinical trial testing hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in 2,000 patients with mild and moderate cases of COVID-19. Hydroxychloroquine is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis; azithromycin is a commonly prescribed antibiotic. The trial was announced during Dr. Rick Bright's testimony (Gilead Sciences Inc.'s (GILD) remdesivir as a COVID-19 treatment; however, there are no proven, FDA-approved therapies that treat the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. There are dozens of other clinical trials ( ) underway evaluating hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 patients.) before a House of Representatives committee on Thursday. Bright has filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that his reluctance to promote hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 led to his demotion within the National Institutes of Health. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (TEVA.TV) donated the hydroxychloroquine for the trial, which is evaluating whether the drug combination can prevent hospitalization and death. "Although there is anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin may benefit people with COVID-19, we need solid data from a large randomized, controlled clinical trial to determine whether this experimental treatment is safe and can improve clinical outcomes," NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in a statement. The FDA in March granted an emergency use authorization to hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as COVID-19 treatments. More recently, the regulator authorized
-Jaimy Lee; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
May 14, 2020 14:37 ET (18:37 GMT)
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