Coronavirus: Trump says this drug has ‘tremendous promise,’ but Fauci’s not spending money on it

"I think it's going to be great," he said. "We study this drug quickly."

But the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases does not sponsor any studies on hydroxychloroquine, according to a statement from the agency, which added that the agency is "considering" studies investigating the drug or analogous chloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19. studies.

The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, another federal agency, also lists their coronavirus measures on the site, but hydroxychloroquine is not among them.

Clinical studies with hydroxychloroquine

Last month, a Chinese study theorized that hydroxychloroquine can act against coronavirus by preventing its binding to human cells.
Trump was so positive about the drug that the doctors began to hoard it, which causes several states to implement strict regulations around prescribing the drug.
States are trying to stop the hoarding of possible coronavirus treatments
Despite this enthusiasm, a federal government register For clinical trials, only two studies in the United States show hydroxychloroquine to fight coronavirus, and only one of these is ongoing.
Scientists for that trial University of Minnesota, requested, but did not receive any federal funding, as a result Dr. David Boulware, the infectious disease expert is running study.

Boulware said he had to obtain funding from Silicon Valley tycoon David Baszucki for one part of his study, which looks at hydroxychloroquine to prevent the development of the disease, and he still has no funding for the other part, which studies the drug as a treatment for infection.

"With all the money spent on coronavirus, we should spend money on medical research on how to best treat people and prevent new infections," Boulware said.

The other study, at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, is expected to begin enrollment this week and is not yet funded, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

The Gates Foundation is expected to announce soon that it will fund hydroxychloroquine research for coronavirus at the University of Washington and New York University, according to multiple sources.

Federal funding for other coronavirus treatments


Other treatments receive federal funding, and their trials are ongoing on several websites.

Doctors at 11 sites have enrolled between 60 and 70 patients in a study of a sarimulab, according to George Yancopoulos, chief scientist for Regeneron, which makes the drug.

In the fight against coronavirus, doctors are studying sarimulab and other antibody treatments that can alter the body's inflammatory response to a virus.

Trump says the FDA will track treatments for new coronaviruses, but there are still months of research ahead
The Sarimulab study is get support from the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a department of the US Department of Health and Human Services.

At least four sites are already enrolling patients to study the efficacy of another drug called remedies designed to prevent viruses from replicating: Northwell Health and Montefiore Medical Center, both in New York City; Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina; and the University of Nebraska Medical Center.


NIAID, the institute led by Fauci, sponsors the trials of remdesivir, made by the pharmaceutical company Gilead.


At a White House press conference last week, Fauci tapped Trump's enthusiasm for hydroxychloroquine when asked if there were any indications that the drug could be used to prevent coronavirus

"No. The answer is no," Fauci said, adding that there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine could be an effective therapy for people with coronavirus.

The day after the discussion about hydroxychloroquine, Fauci made a sharp comment about coronavirus treatments.

"I don't want anyone to forget that we're doing randomized clinical trials on a number of candidates at the same time," he said. "We are talking about remedies, other medications, immune sera, convalescent serum, monoclonal antibodies. All of these are in the pipeline that is currently queued up for clinical trial," he said.

This is how we have overcome past pandemics

Researchers credit the advanced stages of remdesivir and sarimulab trials that drug companies have exclusive rights to these drugs and have an incentive to move studies.

Hydroxychloroquine, on the other hand, is a cheap generic drug made by several companies, so no companies will make much money on it.

"There are financial drivers in this system," he said Dr. Kevin Tracey, president of the Feinstein Institutes of Medical Research at Northwell. "I think that's just the reality, frankly."

Non-pharmaceutical treatments for coronavirus

There are also non-pharmaceutical approaches being investigated to treat coronavirus.

On Tuesday, the US Food and Drug Administration said it is accelerating the use of one blood plasma treatment for patients who are seriously ill with coronavirus.
FDA says it speeds up the use of blood plasma therapy as New York begins to perform new clinical trials

The process, known as reconvalescent serum, involves taking the blood of someone who has recovered from coronavirus and giving some of the blood products to a patient suffering from coronavirus.

The hope is that the antibodies in the recovered person's blood will help the patient.

Two universities are trying to further refine the process.

Rockefeller University researchers are looking to reproduce antibodies from recovered patients.

"We fish out the really effective antibodies and clone them and make them in large batches like in a huge container you make beer in, and then give it to people," said Jill Horowitz, CEO of Strategic Operations at Rockefeller's Molecular Immunology Laboratory .

One advantage of this approach is that it uses the strongest antibodies, Horowitz said. Another advantage is that although there is a limited supply of blood from recovered patients, the antibodies can be replicated in large quantities.

Researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine plan to recruit people who easily recovered from coronavirus, as well as those who ended up being hospitalized with it. The doctors would then see if there is a difference in their T cells, a component of the immune system, and produce the components that seemed to help in a slight improvement.

"We want to learn from people who naturally took control of the virus on their own and see what part of the immune system enabled them to fight the disease," she said Ann Leen, professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Baylor.

These tailored approaches are likely to take some time to develop and cannot be applied to coronavirus patients as quickly as medications such as hydroxychloroquine and sarimulab, which are already on the market for other diseases.

Even though, Art Caplan, a NYU Langone Health bioethicist, said he had more faith in the Rockefeller and Baylor approaches, since they will be tailored specifically to coronavirus.
He noticed it many medicines who once had hope that Ebola did not work, nor did convalescent serum, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

"I wouldn't be so optimistic about these approaches, and I know it's sad news," Caplan said.

But Tracey, the researcher at the Feinstein Institutes, said it was worth the fight.

"We want to win this war. We just have to survive the fight," he said. =

CNN's Brynn Gingras, Evan Simko-Bednarski and Kara Scannell contributed to this story.

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