No Miracle Treatment for Coronavirus Yet, Says Novartis CEO

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There is no miracle concoction of drugs that can either treat or prevent the coronavirus.

That was the message from Novartis CEO Vas Narashimhan  who on Friday said it's 'too soon' to be sure whether two of the company’s anti-malaria drugs could prove to be an effective treatment for the novel coronavirus.

Speaking on CNBC, Narashimhan said that while two of the company’s drugs - Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine - are being tested to see whether they can reduce the severity of Covid-19 or even prevent it, conclusive evidence of their effectiveness is still at least a year and a half to two years away.

“I do think it is too soon to know for sure until we have properly controlled randomized studies,” he said. “We hope over the next 18 months to two years, we can come back with a vaccine that will ultimately be the definitive way to deal with this pandemic.”

Speaking at a White House press briefing last week, Trump said that the two anti-malaria drugs were a “game-changer” in the global fight against the coronavirus pandemic, adding that they had shown “very, very encouraging results.″

“It’s shown very encouraging, very, very encouraging early results,” Trump told reporters. “And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”

As of Friday, more than 537,000 people around the world had contracted Covid-19, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, with 24,110 deaths.

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