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South Korea and China both say the drug is an 'effective' antiviral treatment against the disease, according to a report by US virologists. The Wuhan Institute of Virology — in the city where the crisis began — claimed the drug was 'highly effective' in petri dish tests. Tests by those researchers, as well as others, showed it has the power to stop the virus replicating in cells, and taking hold in the body.

Twenty-three clinical trials on the drug are already underway on patients in China, and one is planned in the US and another in South Korea.

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Chloroquine was prescribed around 46, times in in the UK — but it is also available over-the-counter from pharmacies without a prescription. Professor Robin May, an infectious disease specialist at Birmingham University, said the safety profile of the drug is 'well-established'. He added: 'It is cheap and relatively easy to manufacture, so it would be fairly easy to accelerate into clinical trials and, if successful, eventually into treatment. Professor May suggested chloroquine may work by altering the acidity of the area of cells that it attacks, making it harder for the virus to replicate.

Chinese scientists investigating the other form of chloroquine - which is called hydroxychloroquine - penned a letter to a prestigious journal saying its 'less toxic' derivative may also help. Professor Robin May, an infectious disease specialist at Birmingham University, said the safety of the drug is 'well-established'. Another drug which the UK is expected to trial on its coronavirus patient is one called SNG which is inhaled directly into the lungs. It was developed to prevent severe lower respiratory tract illness caused by cold and flu infections when they spread to the lungs.

Phase II clinical trials in asthmatic patients have previously shown that the drug is well tolerated, enhances the lungs' antiviral defences and improves lung function during cold or flu infection. The trial - led by Professor Tom Wilkinson, a respiratory medicine expert at University Hospital Southampton - will involve patients across Southampton and up to 10 other NHS hospitals. Professor Wilkinson told the Daily Express : 'The science definitely adds up.

We're learning a lot about the pandemic every day. Participants will receive the current Covid care, while inhaling either a placebo or SNG - a special formulation of the naturally occurring antiviral protein interferon beta 1a IFN-beta - for 14 days. Flu, anti-malaria, arthritis and HIV medication: The promising therapies being tested on coronavirus patients around the world - but how many are the NHS trying? The World Health Organization has said it will launch an international clinical trial to try and find a treatment for the coronavirus.

Countries around the world will test remdesivir; HIV drug combination lopinavir and ritonavir; and chloroquine, an antimalarial, Stat News reported. The drugs are already licensed for human use so would be much quicker to get approved and manufactured than a new one.

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And they have all been tested by doctors in China, with varying results. The drugs will be tested alongside other patients receiving normal hospital care so the two can be compared. NHS hospitals are coming under growing pressure to use experimental drugs to try and treat patients infected with the coronavirus.

Doctors and pharmaceutical firms around the world are scrambling to find a drug that can stop the deadly virus, which has now killed more than 8, people. Medicines already in use for conditions ranging from HIV to rheumatoid arthritis, malaria, the flu and even Ebola are serious contenders and are being tested to see how they could help patients infected with COVID The Government has refused to confirm if any are being tested out on the 2, coronavirus patients in the UK — the NHS advises anyone with troublesome symptoms to take paracetamol and rest at home unless they feel life-threateningly ill.

But its medicines regulator last month banned companies from exporting three drugs — for HIV and malaria — in a bid to protect the UK's stocks of them.

Coronavirus UK: Potentially effective malaria drug running out

All three have been used in experimental treatments by doctors in China, raising the prospect of Britain doing the same. Here, MailOnline reveals some of the drugs that experts believe have potential. Chloroquine phosphate Malaria. It is sold under the brand name Arlan. Experts at the University of Palermo in Italy, as well as a team in Israel, collated the research on the drug in treating the coronavirus.

In their report, they claimed officials in the Netherlands already suggest treating critically-ill patients with the drug.

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University of Minnesota experts are planning to test whether the drug — sometimes given to treat lupus and arthritis — prevents the progression of COVID Hydroxychloroquine Malaria. Chinese scientists investigating the other form of chloroquine penned a letter to a prestigious journal saying its 'less toxic' derivative may also help.

In the comment to Cell Discovery — owned by publisher Nature, they said it shares similar chemical structures and mechanisms. The team of experts added: 'It is easy to conjure up the idea that hydroxychloroquine may be a potent candidate to treat infection by SARS-CoV But the Wuhan Institute of Virology scientists admitted they are still lacking evidence to prove it is as effective as chloroquine phosphate. Hydroxychloroquine, sold under the brand name Plaquenil, causes side effects such as skin rashes, nausea, diarrhoea and headaches.

Drug giant Sanofi carried out a study on 24 patients, which the French government described as 'promising'. Results showed three quarters of patients treated with the drug were cleared of the virus within six days. None of the placebo group were treated. The drug has shown promise as a way of tackling coronavirus, scientists say, because it is able to bind to the outside of the coronavirus. It is a class of drug called a protease inhibitor, which essentially stick to an enzyme on a virus which is vital to the virus reproducing.

By doing this it blocks the process the virus would normally use to clone itself and spread the infection further. Chinese media reported that the drug was successfully used to cure patients with the coronavirus, but the reports have not been scientifically proven. The drug is available on the NHS and was prescribed around 1, times in , either as Kaletra or ritonavir on its own.

Favipiravir flu. Favipiravir is the active ingredient in a flu drug called Avigan which is sold in Japan. Doctors in China have claimed it was 'clearly effective' in patients with the coronavirus after they gave it to 80 people in the cities of Wuhan and Shenzen. They said it sped up patients' recovery, reduced lung damage and did not cause any obvious side effects. It is also used to treat yellow fever and foot-and-mouth. According to local media, patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen had negative results for the coronavirus an average of four days after being diagnosed.

This compared with 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug. It is not clear what the results were of the trials in Wuhan, the worst-hit part of China. The drug is an anti-viral medication which neutralises a vital enzyme that viruses use to reproduce. It is called a RNA polymerase inhibitor. It is not used by the NHS. It's produced by the Japanese company Fujifilm Toyama Chemical. Remdesivir Ebola. Remdesivir is an anti-viral drug that works in essentially the same way as favipiravir — by crippling the RNA polymerase enzyme, stopping a virus from reproducing.

It was developed around 10 years ago by the pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences with the intention of it destroying the Ebola virus. It was pushed aside, however, when other, better candidates emerged.

But it remained an anti-viral drug with the ability to destroy various viruses in lab tests, scientists said. Doctors in the US tried it on three hospitalised coronavirus patients but results were mixed. Doctors writing in a study led by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in the prestigious scientific journal Nature last month, said: 'Our findings reveal that remdesivir [is] highly effective in the control of nCoV infection in vitro. They added that, since the drug is proven to be safe in humans, it 'should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel coronavirus disease'.

Sarilumab Rheumatoid arthritis. Sarilumab, a rheumatoid arthritis drug which is marketed as Kevzara in the US, is set to be trialled on patients in the US. Sarilumab, a rheumatoid arthritis drug which is marketed as Kevzara and is available to be prescribed on the NHS, is set to be trialled on patients in the US. Pharmaceutical companies Sanofi and Regeneron plan to give the medication to people with the coronavirus to see if it can help calm their immune response. The drug works by blocking part of the immune system which can cause inflammation, or swelling, which is overactive in people with rheumatoid arthritis.

Inflammation is the body's natural response to infection but, in patients with coronavirus, it can get out of control, making symptoms significantly worse and even trigger multiple organ failure. Regeneron, which makes the drug, said Chinese doctors say it has worked for their patients, the Financial Times reported. He said the drug could provide 'temporary support' by reducing the severity of patients' symptoms to help hospitals to cope. John Reed, from Sanofi, told the FT: 'We expect to rapidly initiate trials outside the US in the coming weeks, including areas most affected by the pandemic such as Italy'.

The views expressed in the contents above are those of our users and do not necessarily reflect the views of MailOnline. Email sam. Share this article Share. The US is also moving to protect its supply of the drugs. Read more: www. Share or comment on this article: Coronavirus UK: Potentially effective malaria drug running out e-mail 5.

Comments Share what you think. View all. While the two sides have resolved many issues in the sweeping package, talks continued on the final details.

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Earlier, the optimism sent stocks soaring around the world. With Americans' lives and livelihoods hanging in the balance, Trump said he hoped to reopen the country in less than three weeks.

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With infections in the U. McNally was a lung cancer survivor who lived with chronic inflammatory lung disease.