The global COPCOV trial designed to test whether hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine can prevent infection with COVID-19 is to restart after being approved by British regulators, reported The Globe and Mail.
The UK Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) took its decision on the trial after hydroxychloroquine was found in another UK trial to have no benefit as a treatment for patients already infected with COVID-19. The COPCOV study was paused pending review after the treatment trial results.
It is a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that is aiming to enrol 40,000 healthcare workers and other at-risk staff around the world, and is being led by the Oxford University's Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand.
However, Nicholas White, who is co-leading the COPCOV trial, said studies of the drugs as a potential preventative medicine had not yet given a conclusive answer.
"Hydroxychloroquine could still prevent infections, and this needs to be determined in a randomized controlled trial," he said, adding "the question whether (it) can prevent COVID-19 or not remains as pertinent as ever."
White's team said recruitment of UK health workers would resume this week, and that plans were under way for new sites in Thailand and Southeast Asia, Africa and South America, with results expected by the end of this year.
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