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Bayer will provide CAD $1.5 million (USD$1 million) toward two studies to evaluate its chloroquine and interferon beta-1b combination therapies.
Bayer announced on April 21, 2020 that its Canadian branch is collaborating with the Population Health Research Institute (PHRI) to launch a clinical research program focused on identifying potential treatments against COVID-19.
Bayer will provide CAD $1.5 million (USD$1 million) toward two studies to evaluate its chloroquine and interferon beta-1b combination therapies, a Bayer press release said. PHRI will enroll 6000 participants into the studies from more than 60 research sites across Ontario and internationally.
“Specifically, an outpatient study will evaluate the combination of chloroquine with azithromycin to see if this treatment can prevent deterioration leading to hospital admission, while a second study will evaluate the combination of chloroquine with azithromycin, as well as interferon beta-1b, to prevent admission to intensive care, mechanical ventilation and/or death to combat COVID-19,” said Salim Yusuf, executive director of PHRI, in the press release. “Our goal is to assess the value of these and other therapies rapidly so that the results can inform practice as soon as possible.”
“Treatments against COVID-19 are urgently needed as no validated options are currently available,” added Dr. Mike Devoy, member of the Executive Committee of Bayer AG's Pharmaceuticals Division and chief medical officer, in the press release. “We want to contribute to the global fight against the coronavirus through our products and expertise and look forward to partnering with the PHRI.”