Last Sunday (22), a group of Brazilian hospitals received approval from the federal government to start tests with hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of Covid-19. The clinical trial began to be designed three weeks ago. On Monday (23), the National Commission for Ethics and Research authorized the Albert Einstein Hospital to start the tests, together with the Sírio Libanês hospitals and HCor.
It is worth mentioning that, according to Anvisa, although some research indicates that chloroquine can help in the treatment of the new coronavirus, with some promising results, there are still no conclusive studies that prove the use of these drugs for the treatment of Covid-19. Therefore, there is no recommendation by Anvisa, at the moment, for its use in infected patients or even as a way of preventing contamination by the new coronavirus.
According to Dr. Luiz Vicente Rizzo, director-superintendent of research at Einstein, this hydroxychloroquine study coordinated by the hospital is adaptive. This means that the tests will be performed on patients who are showing symptoms at various levels of severity, with each hospital being in charge of one of these levels. Over the course of the study, patients who show improvement will change their level of severity.
This type of study is called adaptive, as it makes data collection more flexible without the hospital having to continue testing patients on a single level of disease progression. According to Rizzo, this type of study is innovative in Brazil, and is little used in the rest of the world.
The study will also be made more flexible with regard to the drug, as other drugs may be included in the tests as new promising discoveries are made.
Hydroxychloroquine, a medication initially effective against malaria, has also been tested in the treatment of covid-19 in other countries, such as the United States and France.