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May 15, 2020 11:24 am

Israeli Pharma Giant Teva Donates Medicines for New NIH COVID-19 Treatment Study

avatar by Algemeiner Staff and Agencies

A Teva building in Jerusalem, Israel, Dec. 14, 2017. Photo: Reuters / Ammar Awad.

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) said on Thursday it had begun a study to evaluate the combination of antibiotic azithromycin and hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

The study — for which Israel-based Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd will be donating medicines — will assess whether the combination can prevent hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) — part of the NIH — is sponsoring the trial, which is being conducted by the NIAID-funded AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG).

“We urgently need a safe and effective treatment for COVID-19. Repurposing existing drugs is an attractive option because these medications have undergone extensive testing, allowing them to move quickly into clinical trials and accelerating their potential approval for COVID-19 treatment,” NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said on Thursday. “Although there is anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin may benefit people with COVID-19, we need solid data from a large randomized, controlled clinical trial to determine whether this experimental treatment is safe and can improve clinical outcomes.”

The study will enroll about 2,000 adults at clinical sites across the country, with many of those expected to be 60 years of age or older or have another condition or chronic disease associated with developing serious complications from COVID-19, such as a cardiovascular disease or diabetes.

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