A therapeutic agent that prevents infection with novel coronavirus is highly desirable–especially for persons with high-risk exposure (e.g healthcare professionals) as well as persons with comorbidities (heart disease, diabetes, etc) and compromised immune systems. Ground-breaking in vitro studies demonstrate potential efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as a prophylactic for novel coronavirus infection in primate cells.
Note: Hydroxychloroquine (brand name Plaquenil) is an inexpensive, globally available drug (tablet) that was approved for widespread medical use since 1955. It is commonly used today to treat malaria, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis.
The study is part of the initiative from an independent group of scientists and physicians working on an open-data clinical trial for prevention of COVID-19, through the use of hydroxychloroquine in combination with other therapeutic agents. The group is now calling on President Trump to allow Americans to use the drug.
Unlike a typical commercial drug trial, the objective of the group is to share trial data with the public* and health-care professionals as close to real-time as possible (with a reasonable level of data quality assurance). Given the rapidly spreading coronavirus pandemic, the group is looking for every possible means to fast-track the effort.