The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Saturday that it was discontinuing its trials of the malaria drug Hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug Lopinavir/Ritonavir in hospitalized patients with COVID-19 after they failed to reduce mortality, Stephanie Nebehay reported for Reuters on July 5, 2020.

WHO reported this development as more than 200,000 new cases were registered globally, the biggest in a single day. The United States accounted for 53,213 of the total 212,326 new cases recorded on Friday, the WHO said.

“These interim trial results show that Hydroxychloroquine and Lopinavir/Ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect,” the WHO said in a statement, referring to large multicountry trials that the agency is leading.

The UN agency said the decision, taken on the recommendation of the trial’s international steering committee, does not affect other studies where those drugs are used for non-hospitalized patients or as a prophylaxis. Another branch of the WHO-led trial is looking at the potential effect of Gilead’s antiviral drug Remdesivir on COVID-19. The European Commission on Friday gave Remdesivir conditional approval for use after being shown to shorten hospital recovery times.

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