Coronavirus: Saudi Arabia’s hospitals invited to participate in four clinical trials

Health workers perform nose swab tests during a drive through coronavirus test campaign held in Diriyah hospital in Riyadh. (File photo: AFP)

Hospitals in Saudi Arabia have been invited to participate in several antiviral clinical trials conducted by the King Abdullah International Medical Research Center (KAIMRC) to help develop effective treatments for the coronavirus, the center’s executive director told Saudi Gazette.

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The center will be conducting four different studies, all of which have been approved by the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SDFA).

The first study, called Avi Mild 19, is a trial that will be testing the use of the antiviral medication favipiravir, which was developed in Japan and used to treat mild viruses.

The second study, which is being carried out in cooperation with the Ministry of Health, is named “FACT.”
It is based on a combination of favipiravir and hydroxychloroquine and is used on patients with moderate malaria.

“Since there is still no antiviral for coronavirus approved by the SFDA, any medicine that is currently available is a subject of experiment,” KAIMRC Executive Director Dr. Ahmed al-Askar told Saudi Gazette.

The health ministry has also been supervising the third study, which involves extracting plasma from the blood of recovered coronavirus patients.

The fourth study involves collecting data on the effectiveness of different coronavirus countermeasures to determine which ones are the most efficient.

The rise in the number of clinical trials being conducted in the Kingdom is an indication of the country’s medical and scientific development, al-Askar said.

Saudi Arabia has also been ramping up its efforts to locally produce face masks, and has plans to produce 10 million masks a day.

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Last Update: Thursday, 02 July 2020 KSA 09:45 - GMT 06:45
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