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Novartis to donate malaria drug in the fight against #COVID_19

Novartis to donate malaria drug in the fight against #COVID_19
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Saturday, 21 March, 2020, 15:10

Novartis will donate enough doses of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to treat several million patients in the fight against the coronavirus, if it wins approval, the Swiss company said.

There are no vaccines or treatments approved for the disease, but there is currently a 1,500-person trial, led by the University of Minnesota, to see whether hydroxychloroquine can prevent or reduce the severity of COVID-19. Two other trials are studying blood pressure drug losartan as a possible treatment.

Novartis makes the malaria drug, which is also used to treat lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, at its Sandoz unit in the United States. It plans to donate 130 million doses of the drug and is in talks with U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulators over expanding its use for coronavirus.