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Updated 11:29 AM EDT, Tue, Jun 16, 2020

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Malaria Drug Can Treat Coronavirus Patents Based On Novartis CEO

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(Photo : Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay )

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

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The top boss of Novartis, CEO Vas Narasimhan said malaria and arthritis medication hydroxychloroquine is the company's best hope against coronavirus, the Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung published on Sunday.

Hydroxychloroquine, manufactured by Novartis generics arm Sandoz, is now attracting more attention from hospitals and pharmaceutical firms, after several trials have shown that the medication is effective in treating COVID-19 patients.In a report by Reuters, drug companies Bayer and Teva have also agreed to donate hydroxychloroquine or similar drugs, while Gilead Sciences is researching on an experimental drug called redeliver against coronavirus.

As reported on Sunday by The Daily Wire, France officially sanctioned chloroquine for some patients infected with COVID-19 this weekend. "French government officially sanctioned chloroquine prescriptions to treat those patients with coronavirus," announced France 24 English Saturday.

In a new interview, Narasimhan said that pre-clinical animal experiments, as well as first clinical trial data, show that "hydroxychloroquine destroys the coronavirus."

The CEO said they are consulting with Swiss medical institutions on possible treatment plans for the clinical use of the drug, "but it is too early to say anything certain."

Narasimhan disclosed the company is currently looking for additional active drug ingredients to make more hydroxychloroquine, should clinical trials are successful.

Nonetheless, the Food and Drug Administration said it is waiting for further trials to be done before authorizing the medication for commercial use.

In an announcement last week, the FDA said: "Under Section 503B of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the FDA has assigned hydroxychloroquine sulfate to category 1 under the Interim Policy on the Use of Bulk Product Substances."

The FDA pointed out that it "does not plan to object to licensed outsourcing facilities using hydroxychloroquine (or chloroquine phosphate, which was already on category 1), compounding human drugs given that the drugs meet all criteria and specifications in the FD&C Act."

A French professor, who claims that the anti-malaria drug chloroquine will help beat the coronavirus, has reported a new study that confirms its "performance" in battling the disease.

But many other scientists and critics of microbiologist Didier Raoult, who heads the La Timone hospital's infectious disease department in Marseille, cast doubt on his findings: they said that the research was not done in a controlled sample and that the findings were "observational."

Meanwhile, Narasimhan said three other Novartis drugs - cancer jakavi, Gilenya multiple sclerosis drug and Ilaris fever drug-are being tested for their effect on COVID-19 complications, the newspaper reported. It follows similar attempts made by organizations such as Roche and Sanofi to re-use medications to treat complications linked to the disease.

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