Professor David Paterson, who specialises in infectious diseases believes his team may have found a cure for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19.
The disease has killed more than 6,500 people globally – including five Australians – since it was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
But researchers at University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research believe two drugs may eradicate the virus entirely.
The first is a medication used to suppress HIV, while the other is an anti-malaria treatment known as chloroquine, which has been largely forgotten due to an increased genetic resistance to the mosquito-borne disease.
One of the drugs being considered for the trial is an anti-malaria treatment known as chloroquine.
Professor David Paterson hopes to have patients enrolled in a clinical trial of both drug by the end of March.
He said it wouldn’t be wrong to consider the drugs a possible ‘treatment or cure’ for the deadly respiratory infection.
Professor Paterson said one of the medications was given to some of the patients, who were first identified as carriers in Australia, and appeared to lead to the ‘disappearance of the virus’.
“It’s a ‘potentially effective treatment’ that should be considered for a large scale medical trial immediately”, said the Professor.
“What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we’re going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs.”
While the treatment has proven successful in some patients carrying COVID-19.
Professor Paterson said testing hadn’t been undertaken in a controlled or measured way.
The decision to test the drug was first made after Chinese people in Australia who returned a positive reading suggested the treatment after hearing positive anecdotes from sufferers in mainland China.
“That first wave of Chinese patients we had (in Australia), they all did very, very well when they were treated with the HIV drug”.