WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, HIV drug trials among COVID-19 patients

Last Updated: Sunday, 5 July 2020 (13:55 IST)
Geneva: The World Health Organization (WHO) announced that it was discontinuing and lopinavir/arms for its Solidarity Trial, citing little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

WHO halts hydroxychloroquine, trials among COVID-19 patients" />
“WHO accepted the recommendation from the Solidarity Trial’s International Steering Committee to discontinue the trial’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir arms,” the organization said in a statement.
 
The WHO said the decision was in light of the evidence from the Solidarity Trial interim results.
 
“These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalised COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said.
 
However, the organization said this decision applies only to hospitalized patients and does not affect the possible evaluation in other studies of hydroxychloroquine or lopinavir/ritonavir in non-hospitalized patients or as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19.
 
The Solidarity Trial was established by the WHO in March to find an effective COVID-19 treatment for hospitalized patients.
 
It was originally designed to have five trial arms, including standard or usual care provided to COVID-19 patients, remdesivir, lopinavir/ritonavir combined, lopinavir/ritonavir combined with interferon beta, and hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine.
 
After four months of clinical trials, WHO experts said that remdesivir was the most effective of all tested drugs.
 
By enrolling patients in multiple countries, the Solidarity Trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs slow disease progression or improve survival. (UNI)