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Fresh hope for Covid-19 patients as AbbVie (ABBV) leads studies on HIV drug

For some of the leading drugmakers, currently, the first priority is to find an effective treatment for Covid-19, which was declared a pandemic by the WHO the other day. With initial researches not yielding the desired results, efforts are on to test existing formulations against coronavirus, and AbbVie (NYSE: ABBV) is one of the front-runners.

The Illinois-based biopharmaceutical company on Thursday revealed plans to evaluate HIV medicine Kaletra, which is a combination of lopinavir and ritonavir, for the treatment of Covid-19. The company claims that the infection can be treated with Kaletra, and has joined hands with healthcare regulators and agencies in the affected countries, including the FDA and European authorities, to take forward the studies.

Also read: Most firms think it is too early to gauge the impact of coronavirus

In January, the company donated Kaletra to healthcare regulators in China to evaluate it as an experimental treatment option. After the initial tests, the response from China was positive. However, their claims have not been verified yet, due to lack of access to data.

Under the partnership, AbbVie will also provide assistance to ongoing researches on the lopinavir/ritonavir combination. The studies will focus on testing the efficacy of the drug in people suffering from Covid-19. Meanwhile, arrangements are in place to ensure uninterrupted supplies for HIV patients depending on Kaletra.

Related: AbbVie’s Q4 results beat expectations

AbbVie has supplied the drug to several countries impacted by the coronavirus crisis, as a potential therapy for Covid-19. It is already working with other drug-developers and institutions to develop medicines against coronavirus.

Last month, a statement from the company said it is working with the WHO and regulators in other parts of the world to address the epidemic issue.

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