A medical ethics committee at the forefront of fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan has quickened the pace of approving clinical trials, reported China Daily.
Several programs related to the diagnosis and treatment of the infection have gained ethical approval from Huazhong University of Science and Technology and are being carried out by the university, including two drugs that are under clinical trials, said Chen Jianguo, vice-president of the university.
The two drugs are Gilead Sciences' remdesivir, as well as chloroquine, which is available on the market to treat malaria.
To allow remdesivir to enter clinical trials as soon as possible, members of the Ethical Committee on Drug Clinical Trials under the university completed inspection online in early February, said Chen Hui, director of the committee.
"Due to tight schedules and difficulties caused by the lockdown of Wuhan and the university, we adopted an online inspection method for remdesivir," she said, adding that "members inspected documents regarding the clinical trial of the drug online, and most of them proposed suggestions for the trial."
However, she noted that despite the accelerated approval, the committee followed both national and international laws and regulations while giving inspection and approval to ensure that the projects conform to ethical standards.
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