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Sequential CQ / HCQ Research Papers and Reports

CQ / HCQ Research Papers and Reports


to April 20, 2020

Executive Summary Interpretation of the Data In This Report



The HCQ-AZ combination, when started immediately after diagnosis, appears to be a safe and efficient treatment for COVID-19, with a mortality rate of 0.5%, in elderly patients. It avoids worsening and clears virus persistence and contagious infectivity in most cases.


CQ / HCQ Research Papers and Reports



to April 12, 2020


22 August 2005

CDC Special Pathogens

MJ VIncet, E.Bergon, S. Benjannet, BR Erickson, Pierre Rollin, T.G. Ksiazek, NG Seidah, 

ST Nichole. Chloroquine is a potent inhibitor of SARS coronavirus infection and spread. Virology Journal. (2005) 2: 69

Chloroquine has strong antiviral effects on SARS CoV infection of primate cells in tissue culture. These inhibitory effects are observed when cells are treated with the drug either before or after exposure to the virus, suggesting both prophylactic preventative and treatment use. The paper describes three mechanisms by which the drug might work and suggest it may have both a prophylactic and
therapeutic role in Coronavirus infections.


28 January 2020

M. Wang, R. Cao, L. Zhang, X. Yang, J. Liu, M. Xu, Z. Shi, Z. Hu, W. Zhong, G. Xiao

LETTER TO THE EDITOR  Cell Research Remdesivir and chloroquine
effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in
Cell Research (2020) 0:1–3;

Tested Remdesivir and
Chloroquine in addition to five other drugs were tested in tissue culture
against a clinical sample of virus from a COVID-19 patient,
and Chloroquine are highly effective in the
control of 2019-nCoV infection in vitro.
Since these compounds have been used in human patients with a
safety track record and shown to be effective against various ailments, we
suggest that they should be assessed in human patients suffering from the novel
coronavirus disease.


February 13,

work out treatment guidelines for coronavirus
, Korea Biomedical Review

The Korean  COVID-19 Central Clinical Task Force, held the sixth video conference and agreed on treatment principles for patients with COVID-19.

    • Young with mild symptoms without underlying conditions, doctors can observe them without antiviral treatment.
    • If 10 days have passed since the onset of the illness and the symptoms are mild, physicians do not have to start an antiviral medication.
    • If patients are old or have underlying conditions with serious symptoms,
      physicians should consider an antiviral treatment as soon as possible.
      lopinavir 400mg/ritonavir 100mg (Kaletra two tablets, twice a day) or
      chloroquine 500mg orally per day. Alternate is hydroxychloroquine 400mg
      orally per day.

February 18, 2020.

Jianjun Gao, Zhenxue
Tian, Xu Yang  Breakthrough:
Chloroquine phosphate has shown apparent efficacy in treatment of COVID-19
associated pneumonia in clinical studies
. BioScience Trends Advance
Publication, DOI: 10.5582/bst.2020.0104

Thus far, results from more than 100 patients have demonstrated that chloroquine phosphate is superior to the control treatment in inhibiting the exacerbation of pneumonia, improving lung imaging findings, promoting a virus negative conversion, and shortening the disease course. 

Severe adverse reactions to chloroquine phosphate were not noted in the aforementioned patients. Given these findings, a conference was held on February 15, 2020; participants including experts from government and regulatory authorities and organizers of clinical trials reached an agreement that chloroquine phosphate has potent activity against COVID-19.


27 February 2020

Philippe Colson , Jean-Marc Rolain , Jean-Christophe Lagier , Philippe Brouqui , Didier Raoult , Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as available weapons to fight COVID-19,
International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents  Feb (2020), doi:


following the very recent publication of results showing the in vitro activity of chloroquine against SARS-CoV-2, data have been reported on the efficacy of this
drug in patients with SARS-CoV-2-related pneumonia (named COVID-19) at
different levels of severity. 

Following the in vitro results, 20 clinical studies were launched in several Chinese hospitals. 

The first results obtained from more than 100 patients showed the superiority of chloroquine compared with treatment of the control group in terms of reduction of exacerbation of pneumonia, duration of symptoms and delay of viral clearance, all in the absence of severe side effects. This has led in China to include chloroquine in the recommendations regarding the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 pneumonia. 

Chinese teams showed that Chloroquine could reduce the length of hospital stay and improve the evolution of COVID-19 pneumonia, leading to recommend the administration of 500 mg of chloroquine twice a day in patients with mild,
moderate and severe forms of COVID-19 pneumonia. 


4 March 2929

Philippe Colson,a,b
Jean-Marc Rolain,a,b
a,b Philippe Brouqui,a,b
Didier Raoult, Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as available
weapons to fight COVID-19
. I
nt J Antimicrob
. 2020 Mar 4
105932. doi
10.1016/j.ijantimicag.2020.105932 [Epub ahead of print]  PMCID: PMC7135139

A review of the safety and efficiency of CQ and HCQ reviewing more
than 20 clinical studies in several Chinese



Although only available in letter form, this data caused China to  recommend Chloroquine in the National Guidelines for the Treatment of COVID-19.





9 March 2020



X.Yao, F/ Ye2, M. Zhang,
C.Cui, R. Lu, H. Li, W. Tan, D. Liu. In Vitro Antiviral
Activity and Projection of Optimized Dosing Design of Hydroxychloroquine for
the Treatment of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 9. pii:
ciaa237. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciaa237.

Hydroxychloroquine was found to be more potent than chloroquine at inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 in vitro. Hydroxychloroquine sulfate 400 mg given twice daily for 1 day, followed by 200 mg twice daily for 4 more days is recommended to treat SARS-CoV-2 infection.


9 March 2020

Expert Chinese consensus on Chloroquine Phosphate for New Coronavirus pneumonia. Diagnosis and Treatment Plan. Chinese Journal of Tuberculosis and Respiratory Diseases. 2020, 43:

A Multicenter Collaboration Group was formed to guide and standardize the use of Chloroquine in Coronavirus pneumonia, standardizing Chloroquine treatment at 500mg 2x day for 10 days. Use of azithromycin was contraindicated.


20 March 2020

Gautret PLagier JCParola PHoang VTMeddeb LMailhe MDoudier B, Giordanengo V, Vieira VELa Scola BRolain JMBrouqui PRaoult D. Hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin as a treatment of
COVID-19: results of an open-label non-randomized clinical trial.
Int J Antimicrob
 2020 Mar
20:105949. doi:

Confirmed COVID-19 patients were included in a protocol from early March to March 16th, to receive  600mg of hydroxychloroquine daily and their viral load in nasopharyngeal swabs was tested daily in a hospital setting. 

Untreated patients from another center were included as negative controls. 


20 cases were treated in this study and showed a significant reduction of the viral levels at D6-post inclusion compared to controls, and much lower average carrying duration than reported of untreated patients in the literature.
Azithromycin added to hydroxychloroquine was significantly more efficient for
virus elimination.

Despite its small sample size our survey shows that hydroxychloroquine
treatment is 
significantly associated with viral load
COVID-19 patients and its effect is reinforced by azithromycin,


20 March 2020

Mount Sinai health system treatment guidelines
for SARS-CoV-2 infection (COVID-19) Last accessed on 20th March 2020.

Mount Sinai Heath System establishes protocols for dosing and treatment of COVID-19 patients using Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine.


27 March 2020


P. Gautret, J.C. Lagier, P. Parola, V.T. Hoang, T. Dupont, S. Honoré, A. Stein, M. Million, B. La Scola, P. Brouqui, Didier Raoul. Hydroxychloroquine-Azithromycin
Treatment for COVID-19 Shown to be Effective in an 80-Patient Study

IHU-Méditerranée Infection, Marseille, France  March
27, 2020 

In 80 patients receiving hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin we noted a clinical improvement in all but one 86 year-old patient who died, and one 74 year still in ICU. A rapid fall of nasopharyngeal viral load tested by qPCR was noted, with Virus cultures from patient respiratory samples turning negative in 97.5% patients at Day 5. 

This allowed patients to rapidly be discharged from highly contagious wards with a mean length of stay of five days.


10 March 2020

Cortegiani A., Ingoglia G., Ippolito M., Giarratano A., Einav S. A systematic review on the efficacy and safety of chloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19. J Crit Care. 2020 Mar 10;(20):30390–30397.

A review was made of six articles (one narrative letter, one
in-vitro study, one editorial, expert consensus paper, two
national guideline documents) and these clinical trials done in China. 

ChiCTR2000030417  COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 30)                  Chloroquine phosphate                

ChiCTR2000030054 COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 100)                  HCQ  0.2 g BID × 14 days

ChiCTR2000030031  COVID-19 pneumonia (n = 120)                  400 CQ BID 2 tablets placebo BID                

ChiCTR2000029992  Severe COVID pneumonia  (n = 100)   CQ 1.0 g × 2 days, then 0.5 g × 12day                                                                                                                                          



0.2 g BID x 14 days



Severe COVID-19 pneumonia            (n =
Standard Rx -Clinical Recovery



COVID-19 pneumonia
(n = 10)
CQ inhalation aerosol 



COVID-19 pneumonia
(n = 100)
CQ Standard treatment



ChiCTR2000029935  Single-arm clinical
(n = 100)
CQ No comparison 



ChiCTR2000029899  Mild COVID-19
pneumonia                (n = 100)
HCQ:  6 tablets
(0.2 g/ 6 tablets/day 



ChiCTR2000029898  Severe COVID
pneumonia                  (n =
100)                 HCQ
Hydroxychloroquine 2 tablets/day 



ChiCTR2000029868  COVID-19 pneumonia

(n = 200)                 HCQ
Standard Rx Viral test



ChiCTR2000029837  Mild COVID-19
pneumonia                (n = 120)
HCQ tablets and placebo



ChiCTR2000029826  Critically ill COVID-19
pneumonia     (n = 45)
2 tablets CQ BID- placebo BID



ChiCTR2000029803  Close contacts with
confirmed          (n = 320)
HCQ- high dose 



ChiCTR2000029762  COVID-19 pneumonia

(n = 60)            
HCQ Standard treatment



ChiCTR2000029761  COVID-19 pneumonia

(n = 240)                 HCQ
Medium-dose group:



ChiCTR2000029741  Mild COVID-19 pneumonia
(n = 112)
CQ oxygen index during



ChiCTR2000029740  COVID-19 pneumonia

(n = 78)
HCQ 0.2 g BID Lab testing                   



ChiCTR2000029609  Non-randomized controlled
trial        (n = 205)
Mild-moderate CQ group:  CQ plus Lopinavir/ritonavir;



                                                                                                                                           group; Severe Lopinavir/Ritonavir group: 



ChiCTR2000029559  COVID-19 pneumonia

(n = 300)
Group 1: Hydroxychloroquine 0.1 g oral BID; Group 2:



0.2 g oral BID   Placebo control group: Starch



ChiCTR2000029542  COVID-19 pneumonia

(n = 20)          Oral chloroquine 0.5 g BID for 10 days 30-day
specific mortality



NCT04286503               Critically ill
(n = 520)
       Carrimycin, lopinavir/ritonavir or Arbidol or CQ


    • Chloroquine seems to be effective in limiting the
      replication of SARS-CoV-2 in vitro.
    • There is rationale, evidence of effectiveness and
      evidence of safety from long-time clinical use for other indications to
      justify clinical research on chloroquine in patients with COVID-19. 
    • Safety data and data from high-quality clinical trials
      are urgently needed.




21 March 2020



Duan YJLiu QZhao SQHuang FRen LLiu LZhou YW. The Trial of Chloroquine in the
Treatment of COVID-19 and Its Research Progress in Forensic Toxicology.
2020 Mar 25;36(2). doi: 10.12116/j.issn.1004-5619.2020.02.001. [Epub ahead of



Chloroquine is a long-established prescription drug that is often
used clinically to treat malaria and connective tissue diseases.
The antimalarial drug Chloroquine phosphate
which has already been approved is confirmed to have an anti-SARS-CoV-2
effect and has been included in diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines.
However, awareness of the risk of chloroquine phosphate causing
acute poisoning or even death should be strengthened.
The dosage used according to current clinical
recommended dosage and course of treatment are larger than that of previous
treatment of malaria
Many provinces have
required close clinical monitoring of adverse reactions. This paper reviews the
pharmacological effects, poisoning and toxicological mechanisms, in vivo
metabolism and distribution, and forensic issues of chloroquine drugs, in order
to provide help to forensic practice and clinical work





21 March 2020



Chloroquine US prescribing information. (Last accessed March 21, 2020)





23 March 2020



Yueping Li, Zhiwei
Xie, Weiyin Lin, Weiping Cai,,
An exploratory randomized, controlled study on
the efficacy and safety of lopinavir/ritonavir or arbidol treating adult
patients hospitalized with mild/moderate COVID-19 






According to
hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), on top of conventional therapy didn’t shorten the
time to SARS-CoV-2 clearance in a 30-patient trial.
No significant
differences were observed across the two arms in terms of the time it took to
bring body temperature to normal or the number of patients with disease
progression as shown in CT scans.



However, a careful examination of the study reveals a more
complicated situation.



Most patients in the study’s control group were actually
treated with other antiviral drugs
at the same time, including the HIV combo
med Kaletra and the Russian flu drug Arbidol.
Most, but not all, patients in the hydroxychloroquine group were
also treated with Arbidol. All patients also received interferon-alpha, thereby
completely invalidating any assessment of Chloroquine effects.





24 March 2020



Pagliano PPiazza ODe Caro FAscione TFilippelli A. Is Hydroxychloroquine a possible post-exposure
prophylaxis drug to limit the transmission to health care workers exposed to
Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Mar 24.



PMID: 32211764



Chloroquine and
Hydroxychloroquine are able to inhibit replication at early stages of viral

infection. No similar effect on early phases of
Coronavirus infection has been reported for other drugs proposed for SARS-CoV-2
treatment, which are able to interfere only after cell infection.

We believe that hydroxychloroquine can be effective in preventing
respiratory tract invasion in HCW and that hydroxychloroquine administration as prophylactic agent
could be particularly useful for HCW attending to high risk procedures on
respiratory tract in COVID-19 patients. 





Hydroxychloroquine effectiveness
profile, its ability to inhibit lung viral replication for a 10-day period
after only a 5- day cycle of therapy, and the large amounts of
knowledge in term of safety deriving from its use for malaria prophylaxis
and rheumatologic diseases permit to recommend its pre-exposure or
post-exposure use for those performing procedures at high risk of viral
diffusion in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. 





26 March 2020



A.K. Singh,, A. SinghA. ShaikhR. Singh, and A. Misra. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine in the treatment of
COVID-19 with or without diabetes: A systematic search and a narrative review
with a special reference to India and other developing countries
Diabetes Metab
. Published online 2020 Mar26. doi10.1016/j.dsx.2020.03.011



PMCID: PMC7102587



A systematic review of Hydroxychloroquine and





7 April 2020



Belgium Task Force Interim clinical guidelines
for patients suspected of / confirmed with COVID-19 infection.



Based on pharmacokinetic simulations, the
recommended dosing of hydroxychloroquine sulphate is 400mg BID on day 1,
followed by 200mg BID on day 2-5. 



Because of the long elimination half-life of the
drug (32–50 days), the duration of treatment should not exceed 5 days to avoid
accumulation of hydroxychloroquine concentrations in plasma and tissues, and
associated increased risk of toxicity, and because there is no in vitro
evidence that longer courses improve drug activity on SARS-CoV-2.





10 April 2020Zhaowei Chen, VJijia
Hu, Zongwei Zhang, Shan Jiang, Shoumeng Han, Dandan Yan, Ruhong Zhuang, Ben Hu,
Zhan Zhang
Efficacy of hydroxychloroquine
in patients with COVID-19: results of a randomized clinical trial



Evidence regarding the
in-vivo use of Hydroxychloroquine is limited. In COVID-19
This study evaluated the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ)
in the treatment of patients with COVID-19. From February 4 to February 28,
2020, 62 patients suffering from COVID-19 were diagnosed and admitted to Renmin
Hospital of Wuhan University. All participants were randomized in a
parallel-group trial, 31 patients were assigned to receive an additional 5-day
HCQ (400 mg/d) treatment,
to clinical recovery (TTCR), clinical characteristics, and radiological results
were assessed at baseline and 5 days after treatment to evaluate the effect of



For the 62 COVID-19
patients, 46.8% (29 of 62) were male and 53.2% (33 of 62) were female, the mean
age was 44.7 (15.3) years. No difference in the age and sex distribution
between the control group and the HCQ group. But for
TTCR, the body temperature recovery time and
the cough remission time were significantly shortened in the HCQ treatment
Besides, a larger
proportion of patients with improved pneumonia in the HCQ treatment group
(80.6%, 25 of 31) compared with the control group (54.8%, 17 of 31).
Notably, all 4 patients progressed to severe illness that occurred
in the control group. However, there were 2 patients with mild adverse
reactions in the HCQ treatment group. Significance:
Among patients with COVID-19, the use of HCQ
could significantly shorten TTCR and promote the absorption of pneumonia.



Clinical Trial   ChiCTR2000029559





10 April 2020



This data is supportive
of preliminary evidence suggesting a significant reduction in the average
length of hospital stay (ALOS)  in COVID-19
patients administered hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) alone.





This crude data was
generated by a multi-center data collection effort conducted by Agilum Healthcare Intelligence Inc. based in
Brentwood, Tennessee and analyzed with respect to the COVID length of hospital
stay under various investigational treatments.



The unpublished data was
generated from a bell-curve of patient severities encompassing all levels of
severity. Hence, it only provides a gross estimation of a Hydroxychloroquine
effect in COVID-19 patients. However it is supportive of the French Data
released on 12 April 2020 as an Abstract.





12 April 2020



Raoult, D. Cohort
of 1061 COVID-18 cases treated with HCQ-AZ Combination with 9 day follow-up.
IHU Méditerranée Infection, Marseille.



A cohort of 1061
COVID-19 patients, treated for at least 3 days with the HCQ-AZ combination and
a follow-up of at least 9 days was investigated. Endpoints were death, worsening
and viral shedding persistence. From March 3rd to April 9th,
2020, 59,655 specimens from 38,617 patients were tested for COVID-19 by PCR. Of
the 3,165 positive patients placed in the care of our institute,
1061 previously unpublished patients met the inclusion
criteria for a Hydroxychloroquine –Azithromycin trial.



Mean age was 43.6 years
old and 492 were male (46.4%),
As in other studies, no cardiac toxicity was observed in this study. 





    • A
      good clinical outcome and virological cure was obtained in 973 patients
      out of a total pf 1061 patients within 10 days (91.7%). 




    • Mortality
      was significantly lower in patients who had received > 3 days of HCQ-AZ
      than in patients treated with other regimens both at IHU and in all
      Marseille public hospitals (p< 10-2).




A poor outcome was
observed for 46 patients (4.3%); –
10 were transferred to intensive care units, 5 patients
died (0.47%) (74-95 years old), 31 required 10 days of hospitalization or



this group, 25 patients are now cured and 16 are still hospitalized (98% of
patients cured so far). 





Table 1. Baseline characteristics according to clinical
and virological outcome of 1061 patients treated with HCQ + AZ ≥ 3 days
at IHU Méditerranée infection Marseille, France with Day 0 between March 3 and
March 31, 2020



Prolonged viral carriage
at completion of treatment was observed in 47 patients (4.4%) and was
associated with a higher viral load and more advanced disease at diagnosis (p
< 10-2) but viral culture was negative at day 10 and all but one were PCR-cleared
at day 15. 





Poor clinical outcome
was significantly associated to older age (OR 1.11), initial higher severity
(OR 10.05) and low Hydroxychloroquine serum concentration. 





In addition, both poor
clinical and virological outcomes were associated with patients taking
selective beta-blocking agents and angiotensin II receptor blockers (P<0.05)
for Hypertension.





13 April 2020



J. Gao,
Hu, S., Update on use of Hydroxychloroquine to TREAT coronavirus disease 2019



Increasing evidence from
completed clinical studies indicates the prospects for the treatment of
COVID-19 by Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine (indications Hydroxychloroquine
is more effective).



    • Chloroquine
      has indicated its efficacy in mild and moderate COVID-19 cases. 


    • Chloroquine
      is superior to Lopinavir/ritonavir in improving COVID-19 lung lesions.


    • Chloroquine
      has demonstrated significant efficacy in returning body temperature to


    • Hydroxychloroquine
      seems more effective than Chloroquine in a French study on reducing the
      amount of virus in the body.


    • Hydroxychloroquine
      helps reduce the duration of cough, reduce the amount of virus in the body
      and improve negative lung lesions on X-ray.


    • We
      have already commented on the single paper involving 15 patients subjected
      simultaneously to Interferon-Alpha, arbidol, and lopinavir/ritonavir in
      the control group.


general, completed clinical studies have yielded promising results regarding
the safety and effectiveness of Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine in the





Summary of Bibliography Review



Dependent upon a successful peer review of the
data presented in 1,061 COVID-19 patients, treated for at least 3 days with the
HCQ-AZ combination in the French Abstract released 12 April 2020, by D. Raoult
of the IHU Méditerranée Infection and a
successful review of the
10 April 2020 paper by Zhaowei Chen, ……



………….the use of HCQ-AZ combination when started immediately after diagnosis, appears to be a safe an efficient treatment for COVID-19. It
appears to halt respiratory disease progression and length of hospital stay in
many cases.



Within the context of
an expanding COVID-19 pandemic, it is reasonable to propose the EARLY
use of Hydroxychloroquine in attempt to reduce the number of COVID patient
hospitalization days, and hence provide an increased rate of patient turnover
and a more efficient use of limited hospital ventilators. 



The finding in the gross
data study done on 10 April 2020 showing a slightly prolonged Average
Length of Hospital Stay (ALOS) in the population group given HCQ/CQ/Azithromycin, requires further investigation.
Azithromycin can show the same cardiac conduction
effects as Chloroquine in humans, but there has not been a widespread aversion
to its being prescribed. Some 4,000 individuals have now been given what are
considered to be COVID doses of Hydroxychloroquine, and not one cardiac
conduction problem has been noted. 






Historical controls are
used in many previous studies in medicine. In this respect, the safety of
Hydroxychloroquine is well documented. When the safe use of this drug is
projected against its apparent effect of decreasing the progression of early
cases to ventilator use, it is difficult to understand the reluctance of the
authorities in charge of U.S. pandemic management to recommend its use in early
COVID-19 cases. The effects of the chloroquines were first outlined 15
years ago by the CDC’s own Special Pathogens Unit.