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Innovative clinical trial in Catalonia to fight coronavirus transmission and foster prevention

"Each person testing positive infects 5 to 15% of their contacts; we need to stop it," says researcher of study partly funded by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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16 March 2020 11:45 AM

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ACN | Barcelona

The innovative clinical trial on coronavirus beginning in Catalonia on Monday, which was announced on Saturday, will focus on fighting transmission and on fostering prevention

This was announced in a press conference by the Catalan health minister, Alba Vergés, and the researcher who will lead the investigation, Oriol Mitjà, on Monday morning. 

Mitjà explained that the clinical trial will have two pillars. The first is administrating anti-retroviral drugs used for HIV and other diseases to 195 patients with covid-19, in order to reduce the number of days in which they can transmit the disease, now set at 14. 

The second is administrating a prophylactic treatment used against malaria and other diseases to some 15 contacts of each person who has tested positive. The aim is to avoid the fusion between the virus and human cells when the virus enters the body. 

In all, Mitjà expects that 3,000 people will take part in the research and that the first results will be known in 21 days.

The clinical trial is a joint effort between public and private entities, such as the Catalan health department, the Fundació Lluita contra la Sida (Fight against Aids Foundation), while the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has proposed providing the project with funding.

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  • Catalan health minister Alba Vergés at a press conference on March 11, 2020 to explain the coronavirus outbreak in Igualada (by Blanca Blay)

  • Catalan health minister Alba Vergés at a press conference on March 11, 2020 to explain the coronavirus outbreak in Igualada (by Blanca Blay)

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