Every patient who is hospitalised with COVID-19 in Australia will be asked to participate in a clinical trial that aims to assess whether two potential drug treatments for coronavirus are effective.

The major clinical trial, known as the ASCOT study, will involve every hospital around the country that is caring for COVID-19 patients. Patients who are sick enough to require hospitalisation but not requiring admission to intensive care will be asked to participate.

A quarter of the patients will be given the drug hydroxychloroquine, currently used to treat arthritis and prevent malaria, a quarter will be given the anti-HIV drug lopinavir, also known as ritonavir. A quarter will be given a combination of the two drugs, and a quarter will be given no treatment.

The trial, led by Steven Tong, a Royal Melbourne Hospital infectious diseases clinician and co-lead of clinical research at the Doherty Institute, is expected to run for 18 months and involve more than 2000 patients. COVID-19 positive patients will also be recruited internationally.

Read the original article here: https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/coronavirus-major-clinical-trial-set-for-virus-treatments/news-story

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