Despite the World Health Organization’s (WHO) suspending the use of hydroxychloroquine (H) drug, Oxford University’s Coronavirus trial is still going as planned. According to reports, the United Kingdom drug watchdogs have given a green light to the scientists to continue prescribing HCQ tablets to National Health Service (NHS) patients.
According to the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), they do not see any safety concerns. However, the University has temporarily blocked the recruitment for Principle trial– research on HCQ’s effect on elderly COVID-19 patients (50 years to 64 years). Along with it, the university has also halted enrollment of patients for the trial across the globe. Meanwhile, over 10,500 COVID-19 patients have reportedly taken in the Randomised Evaluation of COV-id19 thERapY (RECOVERY) trial.
Oxford announces Phase II & III
Meanwhile, on May 23, Oxford University scientists who are working to develop a vaccine for COVID-19 had started recruiting candidates for Phases II and III of human clinical trials on May 22. For Phase II trials, the university has been seeking 10,260 candidates including children and older adults in order to study the effects of the formulated drug on their immune system. While for Phase III, they are seeking children aged 5 to 12. Along with it, adults aged between 56 to 69 and over the age of 70 have been also zeroed for the research.
According to professor Andrew Pollard, head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, the clinical studies are progressing very well and researchers are now initiating studies to evaluate how well the potential vaccine induces immune responses in older adults and to test whether it can provide protection in the wider population.
WHO pauses HCQ trial
In a major decision, the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s Executive Group, on Monday, decided to temporarily pause the Hydroxychlorine (HCQ) trial while the data collected so far is reviewed, announced WHO chief Dr. Tedros in a press briefing. He added that the Executive Group’s solidarity trial comprising of 10 countries will adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug. Clarifying that the other arms of the trial were continuing, he added that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine were generally safe for treating patients of autoimmune diseases or malaria.