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Coronavirus patients at 70 Australian hospitals to take part in major COVID-19 drug trial

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Article image for Coronavirus patients at 70 Australian hospitals to take part in major COVID-19 drug trial

An anti-malarial drug and a drug used to treat HIV will be trialled on COVID-19 patients at more than 70 hospitals across Australia, and 11 in New Zealand, as researchers seek improved treatment for coronavirus.

The major trial, dubbed AustralaSian COVID-19 Trial (ASCOT), has kicked off at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, and will involve patients from every state and territory.

The randomised clinical trial will look at the efficacy of the two drugs: lopinavir/ritonavir and hydroxychloroqine. Laboratory testing has shown both drugs may help reduce the severity of coronavirus symptoms.

Researchers are hoping to involved 2000 patients in the trial over the next 12 to 18 months.

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