Queensland researchers are set to begin clinical trials of a potential treatment for COVID-19 – using two existing drugs.
The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research Director and Consultant Infectious Diseases Physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital (RBWH) Professor David Paterson said the drugs proved highly effective when first used against the virus in test tubes.
In a statement, Professor Paterson said: “We’re now ready to begin patient trials with the drugs, one of which is an HIV medication and the other an anti-malaria drug.”
“Prior to the clinical trials going ahead, the medications were given to some of the first Australian patients infected with COVID-19, and all have completely recovered without any trace of the virus left in their system.
“These medications have the potential to be a real cure for all, unlike the random anecdotal experiences of some people.”
Professor Paterson said the researchers want a large clinical trial involving 50 hospitals across Australia to determine the best way to use the drugs.
“This would involve comparing one drug versus the other, versus the combination of the two drugs,” he said.
That trial is set to start after Queensland mining magnate Clive Palmer donated $1 million to fund the work through the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital Foundation Coronavirus Action Fund.
The trail is set to start at the end of March.
Both drugs are approved and readily available in Australia and other countries.