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New Jersey pharmaceutical company donates 400,000 tablets to Louisiana for clinical trials in COVID-19 treatment

4 months 2 weeks 18 hours ago Monday, March 30 2020 Mar 30, 2020 March 30, 2020 9:02 AM March 30, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ
Photo: Barry Sloan/Newsday

BATON ROUGE - Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry, working with the assistance of State Senate Health and Welfare Chairman Fred Mills issued a statement Monday, announcing that Amneal Pharmaceuticals is donating 400,000 hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets to the State of Louisiana to assist with the COVID-19 pandemic.

"On behalf of Louisiana, I want to thank Amneal for this generous donation," said General Landry. "Amneal's donation is one step toward trying to find treatments and cures for this epidemic. Right now, there are no silver bullets. We must remain vigilant against the spread of this virus." 

According to an email distributed by the office of the Attorney General, researchers at LSU's School of Medicine are working to launch two different clinical trials using hydroxychloroquine in relation to COVID-19. One trial will utilize hydroxychloroquine on those who have significant COVID-19 disease. The other trial protocol will use and test the drug as a preventative measure for healthcare workers on the front lines battling the epidemic. 

Trials will be conducted at the University Medical Center in New Orleans and at the LSU Medical School locations in Baton Rouge and Lafayette.

"I sincerely appreciate the efforts of Attorney General Jeff Landry and Senator Fred Mills working with Amneal to bring this donation to the citizens of Louisiana," said Dr. Steve Nelson, Dean of LSUHSC School of Medicine. "This donation will allow us to conduct clinical trials examining how hydroxychloroquine may help clear the virus from the lungs of infected patients and to potentially help shield healthcare workers who are on the front lines treating patients."

The United States Government's National Institutes of Health is tracking other similar clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19. The University of Minnesota is undertaking a trial and Columbia University is as well.

Hydroxychloroquine sulfate was first synthesized in 1946 and is in a class of medications historically used to treat and prevent malaria. Today, Amneal's hydroxychloroquine sulfate tablets are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat malaria, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, childhood arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases. Hydroxychloroquine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of COVID-19; but it has been identified as a possible treatment for COVID-19, and the U.S. Government has requested its immediate availability.

Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc. - headquartered in Bridgewater, NJ - is a pharmaceutical company focused on the development, manufacturing, and distribution of generic and specialty drug products.

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