A decades-old malaria drug touted by President Donald Trump as a potential coronavirus treatment has failed to impress in an early-stage study.
The study, performed in China, followed 30 patients with mild symptoms. It investigated hydroxychloroquine, a cousin of chloroquine. Both can treat malaria, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. In recent days, Trump has reiterated his positive views on their potential in coronavirus treatment.
But the drug didn’t pan out in the study, Evercore ISI analyst Umer Raffat said in a note to clients. He described the results as “far from positive.” Of three key measures, just one favored the use of the malaria drugs in coronavirus treatment.
“It really puzzles me why we’re seeing inaccurate characterizations of clinical data,” Raffat said. “In my honest opinion, having an honest discussion around emerging clinical data would actually help the progress.”