Marie-Paule Kieny, a former World Health Organization virologist who co-chaired a meeting at the agency Wednesday, said Chinese scientists are testing two antiviral drugs against COVID-19 and preliminary clinical trial results are weeks away, as reported by Fidelity.
Kieny indicated that quite a number of patients have already been dosed with a combination of the antiviral drugs ritonavir and lopinavir, but she did not have an exact count.
It "would be excellent if it would work because this drug is available in particular as a generic formulation for the treatment of HIV, so this would clearly be a drug that would be available," Kieny said.
The combination HIV therapy is marketed under the brand name Kaletra by AbbVie.
However, Kieny cautioned that it remains to be seen whether the treatment will prove effective against the new coronavirus strain, saying "we don't know the result, and we still have to wait for a few days, or a few weeks to have a result."
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