An HIV drug and anti-malaria drug could provide a Coronavirus ‘cure’, researchers at the University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research have discovered.
According to news.com.au the research team has successfully tested the medication on COVID-19 patients in Australia, and it made the virus completely disappear. The drugs used are already registered in the country, which drastically reduces the hurdles in rolling it out across the population.
Next steps for the team are to carry out large scale clinical trials. Professor David Paterson, research director at the centre, wants testing done of the two drugs in 50 Australian hospitals, comparing them against one another and in combination. Prof Paterson said the hope is patients for the trial will be enrolled by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, the first ever clinical trial of a vaccine on a human is being carried out today in America, according to the Associated Press. The individual will receive a dose, though not the actual virus, to gauge side effects. It is part of the global race to find a vaccine. And although it could take over 12 months to fully validate one, new technology innovation means interim solutions like shots that could protect people for a shorter period, while a vaccine is being prepared, could be on the horizon.
Inovo Pharmeceuticals is one of the science companies currently working on a vaccine. It has received a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to fast-track its delivery.
Dr J. Joseph Kim, INOVIO’s President & CEO, said: “INOVIO is grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their continued investment in INOVIO’s DNA medicines platform and for their support for DNA vaccines to potentially protect those at risk globally given the current COVID-19 outbreak. Our team of vaccine experts are working around the clock to advance INO-4800 and we look forward to attracting additional partnerships to expedite its development to meet this urgent global health need.”
Inovio is expected to begin testing on volunteers next month.
Our coverage of the pandemic will focus on advice, the search for solutions via funding calls, collaborative initiatives, and breakthroughs being made in tackling the pandemic. Sign up for our newsletter below to get it straight to your inbox.