Accord to donate four million tablets to global COVID-19 prophylaxis trial

The enterprise announced it will donate two million hydroxychloroquine tablets and the same of matched placebo to the multi-national COPCOV study.

cartoon of healthcare workers on a hospital ward wearing COVID-19 protective gear

Accord Healthcare Ltd has announced it is collaborating in a multi-national study testing whether hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are effective in preventing COVID-19 infection. The enterprise will donate up to two million tablets of hydroxychloroquine and the same of a matched placebo to the trial.

The global COPCOV (chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine prevention of COVID-19 in the healthcare setting; a randomised, placebo-controlled prophylaxis) study involves 40,000 frontline healthcare workers who are caring for COVID-19 patients and is planned to start shortly.

COPCOV will be led by UK scientists from the University of Oxford, funded by the Wellcome Trust and leverage the resources of international experts across multiple continents.

Co-lead investigator Dr William Schilling, Research Physician and Infectious Diseases/Microbiology Registrar of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit, Thailand, explained the trial’s rapid initiation was prompted by the “race against time to find effective treatments and preventive measures as the COVID-19 pandemic grows. What we already know is that chloroquine has antiviral activity against SARS-CoV-2 in cell culture, as it does for the related SARS-CoV.”

Professor Sir Nicholas White, Wellcome Trust Principal Fellow and consultant physician at the University of Oxford continued: “The hypothesis for this study is that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine might both slow viral replication in exposed subjects, attenuating or preventing the infection. There is extensive experience with these well-established drugs in the prevention and treatment of malaria and rheumatological conditions. We need to find out urgently in a large definitive study if they can prevent COVID-19. If they do prove effective, then they would be a readily deployable and affordable preventive measure for high risk individuals such as healthcare workers”.

Dr James Burt, Executive Vice President of Accord for Europe and MENA, concluded: “I am extremely proud that Accord is leading the way and playing an important part in the current COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to providing scientific advice, our teams are working around the clock, in challenging times, to manufacture the required hydroxychloroquine and matching-placebo for this vital study.”