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FDA approves Teva drug for emergency COVID-19 trials

The US Food and Drug Administration on Wednesday approved the use of chloroquine phosphate and hydroxychloroquine for emergency treatment of COVID-19 patients.

Israeli pharmaceuticals giant Teva, one of the companies manufacturing the drug, announced last month that it would donate 10 million tablets to US hospitals to treat patients struck by the coronavirus.

Teva’s hydroxychloroquine has been previously approved for treating malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis patients.

The FDA approved the drugs as an emergency treatment, even though they admit that the clinical information about it is slight and anecdotal. According to financial daily Globes, The FDA is recommending controlled clinical trials to test the drugs’ effectiveness in treating COVID-19, the diseased caused by the coronavirus, but is allowing doctors to give them to patients in cases in which they cannot participate in such a trial.

The hydroxychloroquine sulfate market in the US is dominated by generic manufacturers, and in 2019 it amounted to $230 million. Teva’s market share is 9.2%, putting it in fourth place in this market, after Prasco (30.5%), Sandoz (28.2%), and Zydos Cadila (14%), the report said.

Also on Wednesday, Israel’s Magen David Adom national emergency service said it will begin treating coronavirus patients with a new “passive vaccine,” created from plasma donated by patients who recovered from the disease.

Magen David Adom Deputy Director of Blood Services Prof. Eilat Shinar explained that it is believed that those who have recovered from COVID-19 have developed special antivirus proteins or antibodies in their plasma that could help sick patients fight off the disease.

Source: Israel Hayom