Drugs used to treat HIV and malaria could be used to tackle the coronavirus, according to scientists in Australia.
A team of infectious disease experts at the University of Queensland in Brisbane say they have seen two existing medications manage to wipe out COVID-19 infections.
Chloroquine, an anti-malarial drug, and HIV-suppressing combination lopinavir/ritonavir have both reportedly shown promising results in human tests and made the virus ‘disappear’ in infected patients.
Queensland researcher, Professor David Paterson, said he hopes to enroll people in larger scale pharmaceutical trials by the end of the month.
Professor Paterson said it wouldn’t be wrong to consider the drugs a possible ‘treatment or cure’ for the deadly respiratory infection.
He explained that when the HIV medication lopinavir/ritonavir was given to people infected with the coronavirus in Australia it led to the ‘disappearance of the virus’.
He told Australian news site news.com.au: ‘It’s a potentially effective treatment.
‘Patients would end up with no viable coronavirus in their system at all after the end of the therapy.’