Virologists from the KU Leuven Rega Institute in Belgium have shown that a treatment with the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not limit SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus replication in hamsters. A high dose of the anti-flu drug favipiravir, by contrast, has an antiviral effect in the hamsters. The team published their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).
Virologists at the KU Leuven Rega Institute have been working on two lines of SARS-CoV-2 research: searching for a vaccine to prevent infection, and testing existing drugs to see which one can reduce the amount of virus in infected people.
To test the efficacy of the vaccine and antivirals preclinically, the researchers use hamsters. The rodents are particularly suitable for SARS-CoV-2 research because the virus replicates itself strongly in hamsters after infection. Moreover, hamsters develop a lung pathology similar to mild COVID-19 in humans. This is not the case with
Paula Bronstein / Getty Images News via Getty ImagesTaiwan Liposome Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: TLC) shares shot up on Wednesday after the firm announced that it would be able to move forward with its COVID-19 trial that uses hydroxychloroquine. In the past, hydroxychloroquine has been viewed as a controversial drug in terms of evaluating its efficacy in treating COVID-19, but now there seems to be a definitive ruling on it—at least in Australia and Taiwan.
In terms of the specifics, the company announced the receipt of ethical and scientific approval from the Bellberry Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) in Australia for the company’s Phase 1 clinical trial of TLC19 hydroxychloroquine liposome inhalation suspension for COVID-19.
The HREC is constituted in accordance with the requirements of the National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC), and it reviews clinical trial proposals to ensure that they are ethically and scientifically acceptable and have