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Pyramax in clinical trial for COVID-19 treatment

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Pyramax, a World Health Organisation-approved antimalarial drug is under clinical trial in South Korean for the treatment of COVID-19.

The drug manufacturer Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals first announced in April that Pyramax was effective against COVID-19. The announcement led to the appreciation of the company’s shares, Korean Biomedical Review said.

COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China at the end of 2019 and was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in China.

On 30th January 2020, it was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. The virus was later declared a pandemic by WHO on March 11th COVID-19, pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories around the world at the time.

Since then it is on record that no drug or vaccine has been officially approved for the treatment of COVID-19.

However, several candidate drug molecules, including the repurposed are emerging through anecdotal reports as providing benefits to COVID-19 patients. Drug molecules developed for the treatment of ailments like malaria and Ebola in different parts of the world.

Pyramax is a WHO prequalified artemisinin-based combination therapy for the treatment of malaria contains the active substances Pyronaridine tetraphosphate and Artesunate is presently undergoing phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19.

Pyramax was launched in Nigeria in 2018 is available in hospitals and pharmacies in Nigeria. But Nigeria’s National Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has not approved it for the treatment of COVID-19.

However, Shin Poong said Pyramax has been approved for clinical trials by South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety South Korea for clinical trials in South Korea to compare and evaluate efficacy and safety in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus


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