"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.
Clinical studies with hydroxychloroquine
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 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.
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.
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.
Non-pharmaceutical treatments for coronavirus
There are also non-pharmaceutical approaches being investigated to treat coronavirus.
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.
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.
"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.