SWITZERLAND, FEBRUARY 20 – Chloroquine, an anti-malarial and autoimmune disease drug widely used in Africa, can effectively inhibit the development and growth of the Coronavirus(COVID-19), which has infected over 70,000 people across 25 countries and killed over 2,000 people.
Today’s Echo has found research evidence supporting this statement. In a letter written to online magazine journal, Nature.com, a team of Chinese researchers asserted that chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro.
“Chloroquine is known to block virus infection by increasing endosomal pH required for virus/cell fusion, as well as interfering with the glycosylation of cellular receptors of SARS-CoV,” the researchers wrote, referring to the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, which broke out in China in 2003.
“Our time-of-addition assay demonstrated that chloroquine functioned at both entry, and at post-entry stages of the 2019-nCoV infection in Vero E6 cells . Besides its antiviral activity, chloroquine has an immune-modulating activity, which may synergistically enhance its antiviral effect in vivo.
“Chloroquine is widely distributed in the whole body, including lung, after oral administration. The EC90 value of chloroquine against the 2019-nCoV in Vero E6 cells was 6.90 μM, which can be clinically achievable as demonstrated in the plasma of rheumatoid arthritis patients who received 500 mg administration.
“Chloroquine is a cheap and a safe drug that has been used for more than 70 years and, therefore, it is potentially clinically applicable against the 2019-nCoV,”they added.
The researchers further stated that their findings reveal that chloroquine and another drug, remdesivir are highly effective in the control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro.
“Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease,” the added.