A university hospital in Tokyo says it will soon begin a clinical trial of an anti-parasite drug as a possible treatment for COVID-19.
Kitasato University Hospital on Thursday announced plans for testing ivermectin, which is widely used against parasite-borne infectious diseases.
The university’s Distinguished Emeritus Professor, Omura Satoshi, won a Nobel prize for discovering a compound that led to the development of ivermectin.
The university hospital says the trial will involve 240 COVID-19 patients aged 20 or over with mild to moderate symptoms.
They will be divided into two groups. One will be given ivermectin, and the other will receive a placebo.
The hospital plans to compare changes in their symptoms to assess the drug’s efficacy and safety. The trial will continue through the end of March.
The operator of the university, the Kitasato Institute, says experiments using cells have shown ivermectin works in inhibiting the proliferation of the coronavirus.
It says it will strictly examine the safety and efficacy of ivermectin to obtain approval for the drug as a treatment for COVID-19.