The University of Oxford is resuming recruitment this week for its global clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, which was paused after a now-retracted study found the antimalarial drugs had no benefit as a treatment for COVID-19.
“Hydroxychloroquine could still prevent infections, and this needs to be determined in a randomized controlled trial,” said Nicholas White, co-principal investigator of the study. “With 20 percent of the world’s population living in countries where these drugs are recommended for prevention, the question whether they can prevent COVID-19 or not remains as pertinent as ever.”
The UK arm of the COPCOV trial will resume recruitment, and new sites are being established in Thailand and Southeast Asia, Africa and South America.
The university said that research has not shown conclusively whether the antimalaria drugs can effectively prevent the virus, with most studies done to date focused on use of the drugs in treating, not preventing, infection. — James Miessler