This was a big surprise of coronavirus tests at the Saint-Anne hospital (Paris). While about 14% of the medical staff caught SARS-COV-2, only 4% of the patients have tested positive. The Parisian hospital shares this track record with psychiatric wards in China, Italy, Spain. According to them, it would be a medicine, chlorpromazine, used to treat bipolarity and schizophrenia, that would protect patients.
What is chlorpromazine?
Chlorpromazine is an antipsychotic drug used to treating disorders such as bipolarity and schizophrenia. Its use is controlled because studies shown an increase of cerebrovascular accidents, severe hepatic toxicity and cases of deep vein thrombosis. Yet, according to studies carried on in 2014, chlorpromazine could stop viruses from going into cells.
The Institut Pasteur has already confirmed the antiviral effect of chlorpromazine on coronavirus in-vitro.
A first clinical trial on humans is launched
This molecule has been included into the reCovery trial carried out by 165 hospitals across the world. The next steps then, a study based on serologies and a first clinical trial on patients hospitalized in Covid+ units to check results.
According to the Institut Pasteur: “Results obtained allow not only searchers to identify the best medicinal candidates in order to launch new clinical trials, but also to shine a light on cell process involved by the SARS-CoV-2 infection”.
In the meantime, the Discovery clinical trial coordinated by the French National Institute for Health and Medical Research focuses on four experimental treatments against Covid-19 including remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, Kaletra (mixed with lopinavir and ritonavir) as well as Kaletra combined with interferon beta.