Sanofi says anti-malarial medication ‘promising’ on coronavirus patients

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Pharmaceutical firm Sanofi is ready to provide French authorities with millions of doses of anti-malarial medication it said could potentially treat up to 300,000 people after tests on coronavirus-infected patients proved “promising.”

Read more: France reports 27 new coronavirus deaths, raising total to 175


"Sanofi undertakes to make its treatment available to France and to offer several million doses, which could make it possible to treat 300,000 patients," a spokesperson for the French pharmaceutical told AFP. Sanofi operates 73 industrial locations in 32 countries.

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Sanofi is assessing the risks and benefits of its malaria drug hydroxychloroquine to manage coronavirus. Some health authorities are allowing for the temporary use of the drug to manage coronavirus, but so far data from which to draw conclusions of its efficacy is insufficient.

Most experts have said a coronavirus market-ready vaccine is likely one to two years away. So others have tried to use existing medications as alternatives. Malaria drugs are one such option; others include actemra and other rheumatoid arthritis drugs, HIV drugs, and remdesivir, which is an anti-viral medication developed as a treatment for Ebola and was successful in treating monkeys infected with MERS.

Read more: Coronavirus: Vaccines and treatments being developed

As of Thursday, the coronavirus pandemic has infected over 200,000 people and has killed 8,400. Some have said social distancing measures currently in place are only stop-gap measures to keep hopitals from becoming overwhelmed within the next two months, making a pharmeceutical treatment for the virus important.

A study from Imperial College predicted that left unmitigated, coronavirus could kill 250,000 in the UK and 1.1-1.2 million in the US.

Read more: What are the chances of surviving coronavirus? It depends on your age and gender

- With AFP

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