Biological, Molecular and Pharmacological Characteristics of Chloroquine, Hydroxychloroquine, Convalescent Plasma, and Remdesivir for COVID-19 Pandemic: A Comparative Analysis

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J King Saud Univ Sci. 2020 Sep 6. doi: 10.1016/j.jksus.2020.09.002. Online ahead of print.


OBJECTIVES: The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, also known as COVID-19 pandemic has caused a threatening situation worldwide. Since the first detection, in December, 2019, there have been no effective drug therapy options for treating the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. However, healthcare professionals are using chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, remdesivir, convalescent plasma and some other options of treatments. Therefore, this study aims to compare the biological, molecular, pharmacological, and clinical characteristics of these three treatment modalities for SARS-COV-2 infections, Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine, Convalescent Plasma, and Remdesivir.

METHODS: A search was conducted in the "Institute of Science Information (ISI)-Web of Science, PubMed, EMBASE,, Cochrane Library databases, Scopus, and Google Scholar" for peer reviewed, published studies and clinical trials through July 30, 2020. The search was based on keywords "COVID-19" SARS-COV-2, chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine, convalescent plasma, remdesivir and treatment modalities.

RESULTS: As of July 30, 2020, a total of 36640 relevant documents were published. From them 672 peer reviewed, published articles, and clinical trials were screened. We selected 17 relevant published original articles and clinical trials: 05 for chloroquine and/or hydroxychloroquine with total sample size (n=220), 05 for Remdesivir (n=1,781), and 07 for Convalescent Plasma therapy (n=398), with a combined total sample size (n=2,399). Based on the available data, convalescent plasma therapy showed clinical advantages in SARS-COV-2 patients.

CONCLUSIONS: All three treatment modalities have both favorable and unfavorable characteristics, but none showed clear evidence of benefit for early outpatient disease or prophylaxis. Based on the current available data, convalescent plasma therapy appears to show clinical advantages for inpatient use. In the future, ongoing large sample size randomized controlled clinical trials may further clarify the comparative efficacy and safety of these three treatment classes, to conclusively determine whom to treat with which drug and when to treat them.

PMID:32921965 | PMC:PMC7474813 | DOI:10.1016/j.jksus.2020.09.002

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