This photo taken on July 3, 2020 shows a sign from the World Health Organization (WHO) at its headquarters in Geneva amid the COVID-19 outbreak caused by the novel coronavirus.
The World Health Organization announced on Saturday that it had discontinued trials of the combined HIV medication lopinavir and ritonavir as a combined treatment for coronavirus patients in hospital after interim results showed that the medication "lowers the mortality rate of Covid-19 patients." or not lower at all ".
Several thousand patients had been enrolled in the lopinavir / ritonavir arm of the WHO-run solidarity study and in a separate UK-led coronavirus study with these drugs.
The solidarity study was set up by the WHO to find effective Covid-19 treatment for patients. It started with five poor people examining possible treatments: standard care; remdesivir; Hydroxychloroquine; Lopinavir / ritonavir; and lopanivir / ritonavir combined with interferon.
The WHO announced on Saturday that it would stop the hydroxychloroquine arm of its global study. The U.S. agency had previously announced that it would drop the malaria drug that US President Donald Trump advocated for treating the virus, despite several studies showing that it had no benefit.
"WHO today accepted the International Solidarity Study Steering Committee's recommendation to discontinue the study’s hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir arms," said a WHO statement.
Hydroxychloroquine is also used for rheumatoid diseases such as arthritis. The drug caused excitement earlier this year after several small studies indicated that it could help treat the coronavirus.
The WHO decision to discontinue the studies on hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir / ritonavir applies only to studies in coronavirus patients in hospital. It does not exclude drug trials in out-of-hospital patients or as preventive treatment for patients before and after exposure to coronavirus.
According to Johns Hopkins University, there are no FDA-approved medications to treat the coronavirus that has infected more than 11 million people worldwide and killed at least 527,647 people.