S. Korea to conduct quick clinical experiment on two drugs

Lim Chang-won Reporter() | Posted : March 24, 2020, 17:35 | Updated : March 24, 2020, 17:35

[Yonhap Photo]

SEOUL -- South Korea will conduct a quick clinical experiment to see if Chloroquine, a medication used to prevent and treat malaria, and Kaletra, a prescription medicine approved for the treatment of HIV infection, are effective in treating patients infected with a novel coronavirus. The two drugs have been selectively used with other antiviral drugs to treat critical patients.

The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC) said on Tuesday that it would inject a state fund of four billion won ($3.2 million) into the production of therapeutic materials and research on clinical trials.

Clinical trials on hydroxychloroquine are underway abroad, but researchers have yet to secure reliable scientific evidence on its efficacy. "No one can talk about the effects of this drug, and that's why we decided to try clinical trials for research purposes," KCDC Deputy Director Kwon Jun-wook told a regular press briefing.

Hydroxychloroquine is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria. Specifically, it is used for chloroquine-sensitive malaria. State hospitals are testing Remdesivir, a novel antiviral drug in the class of nucleotide analogs.

South Korean drug and bio companies have jumped into the race to develop vaccines or treatments, while doctors have formed a task force to find proper treatment by mixing antiviral drugs. The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety has decided to increase treatment options as there is no established cure or vaccine for illnesses caused by COVID-19.
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