On 31st December 2019, COVID 19 the novel coronavirus detected in Wuhan, China was reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Office in China. On 30th January 2020, it was declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern and by March 11th COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, pointing to the over 118,000 cases of the coronavirus illness in over 110 countries and territories around the world.
Since then it is on record that no drug or vaccine has been officially approved for the treatment of COVID-19.
However, several candidate drug molecules, including the repurposed are emerging through anecdotal reports as providing benefits to COVID-19 patients. Drug molecules developed for treatment of ailments like Malaria and Ebola in different parts of the world.
Pyramax is a WHO prequalified artemisinin-based combination therapy for the treatment of malaria contains the active substances Pyronaridine tetraphosphate and Artesunate is presently undergoing phase 2 clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19. Pyramax a drug of choice in the treatment of malaria is registered and was launched in Nigeria in 2018 being available in Hospitals and Pharmacies in Nigeria.
Pyramax has officially been approved for clinical trials in South Korea to compare and evaluate efficacy and safety in treating patients infected with the novel coronavirus after its manufacturer, Shin Poong Pharmaceuticals received approval of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety South Korea to conduct clinical trials on Pyramax .
While following up on the potential of Pyramax during the clinical studies it is good news that this medicine can be accessed in the Nigeria pharmaceutical space.