The aforementioned trial began in April and sought to test the drug in 440 hospitalised patients. But the project only managed to recruit a few.
Novartis’ move comes in the wake of the US Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) decision to revoke emergency use authorisation for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine against COVID-19. The FDA has also warned against mixing remdesivir with HCQ.
Sanofi, which previously suspended recruitment of patients for two HCQ trials, told that it would make a decision in “coming days” over whether it would resume its own studies.
Novartis had donated up to 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine, including millions in the US, and its CEO, Vas Narasimhan had pegged it as the company’s biggest hope against the new coronavirus about two months ago.