Clinical evidence suggests antimalarial drug is effective on COVID-19 patients
By Pan Zhaoyi
Photo via social media

Photo via social media

Chloroquine phosphate, an antimalarial drug that has been on the market for many years, has proved to be effective against the novel coronavirus, according to Sun Yanrong, deputy director of the biological center under China's Ministry of Science and Technology (MST).

Sun said that the clinical evidence from over 10 hospitals in Beijing, Guangzhou and Hunan Province shows the cure rate of patients who are negative in nucleic acid tests after treatment with the antimalarial drug is higher than in the controlled group. "Over 100 patients have shown no signs of side effects," she added.

Experts from the MST, the National Health Commission (NHS) and the State Food and Drug Administration unanimously agreed that chloroquine phosphate is a safe drug and called for its inclusion in the new edition of clinical guidelines for doctors fighting against the novel coronavirus.

What you need to know about the antimalarial drug

Chloroquine phosphate has been used clinically for over 70 years. Previous clinical evidence has made it very clear that the drug not only has antimalarial effects but also antiviral effects that are effective against a wide range of viruses. Besides, it can also regulate the body's immune system. 

The mechanism is that the chloroquine can interfere with the biosynthesis of nucleic acids, thus preventing DNA replication and RNA transcription.