Laurus Labs partners to explore COVID-19 prophylaxis for health workers

US Rising Pharmaceuticals and Indian Laurus Labs have joined forces to explore hydroxychloroquine as preventive treatment for coronavirus disease 2019

Rising Pharmaceuticals has formed a collaborative agreement with the Division of Infectious Disease and International Medicine at the University of Minnesota, Department of Infectious Disease on a clinical trial exploring hydroxychloroquine as preventive treatment for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Hydroxychloroquine is a medication used for the prevention and treatment of certain types of malaria, as well as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and porphyria cutanea tarda. The trial is being led by internationally recognised infectious disease expert Dr David Boulware and his research team among 1,500 healthcare workers or household contacts exposed to COVID-19.

In non-human studies, researchers have identified two medicines, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, as having activity against SARS-coronaviruses.

"New drugs could save the lives of severely ill patients, and given prophylactically, can also protect health care workers and others at high risk of infection," said Boulware commenting on the collaboration. &"We are grateful for the fast-track support of industry with this important study and believe our efforts will provide important answers about dealing with this virus."

Rising Pharmaceuticals -- and its partner Laurus Labs in Hyderabad, India -- manufacture Hydroxychloroquine Sulphate, USP Tablets under an FDA approved drug application. Rising Pharmaceuticals is the exclusive distributor of the product in the US.

Vimal Kavuru, CEO of Rising Pharmaceuticals said, "We started talking to the University of Minnesota just over a week ago and have fast-tracked our efforts to support this critically needed study. We are actively supporting research in this area to help build better clinical guidelines." Dr Satyanarayana Chava, CEO of Laurus Labs Limited added. "We are proud to assist this reputable institution and assist in the ongoing search for effective therapeutics against this global pandemic. We hope this research will underscore the clinical benefit of this drug in protecting our brave healthcare workers."