A Brighton doctor is helping to lead a study of the malaria drug that American president Donald Trump has insisted is protecting him from the coronavirus.
Martin Llewelyn, a researcher at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS), heads the British contribution to an international clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine.
He aims to recruit thousands of frontline health workers, starting in Brighton and Oxford, to test the malaria treatment that President Trump swears by.
The British participants are expected to be among more than 40,000 healthcare workers across the world testing whether chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent the covid-19 coronavirus.
Professor Llewelyn, professor of infectious diseases at BSMS, opened the process today (Thursday 21 May).
BSMS said: “Laboratory evidence shows that these well-established drugs might be effective in preventing or treating covid-19 but there is no conclusive proof.
“Despite the lack of strong evidence, these drugs are being widely recommended and they are being widely used in some countries – so finding out if they can protect against covid-19 – yes or no – is of tremendous importance.
“Internationally, the trial will recruit 40,000 healthcare workers in South East Asia, Africa and Europe.
“In the UK, Professor Llewelyn will lead the evaluation at about 20 acute NHS hospitals.”