Laurus Labs, one of the world's largest manufacturers of anti-HIV drugs on March 27, said it will supplying anti-malarial drug Hydroxychloroquine to its US partner Rising Pharma Holdings to test as a preventive treatment for novel coronavirus, or COVID-19.
The company has received an approval from the US Food & Drug Administration (USFDA) to market Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate tablets.
Rising Pharma has partnered with the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of Minnesota on a clinical trial exploring hydroxychloroquine as preventive therapy for COVID-19.
The trial is being led by internationally recognised infectious disease expert David Boulware, MD, MPH and his research team among 1,500 healthcare workers or household contacts exposed to COVID-19. In non-human studies, researchers have identified two medicines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as having activity against SARS-coronaviruses.
Hydroxychloroquine is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda.
Frequently Asked Questions
A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.
There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.
Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.