S.D. partners stop hydroxychloroquine trial after similar study shows no benefit on COVID-19

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FILE – This Monday, April 6, 2020 file photo shows an arrangement of hydroxychloroquine pills in Las Vegas. On Friday, June 5, 2020, leaders of a large study in the United Kingdom that is rigorously testing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and other medicines for hospitalized COVID-19 patients say they will stop putting people on the drug because it’s clear it isn’t helping. (AP Photo/John Locher)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The statewide hydroxychloroquine trial has been discontinued following the publication of new research from a large controlled trial that found no efficacy in preventing COVID-19 for people exposed to the virus, Sanford Health said in a news release Friday.

The South Dakota statewide study was a collaboration among Sanford Health, Avera Health and Monument Health, and sponsored by the state of South Dakota,

The University of Minnesota this week published the results of its study in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is one of the nation’s first randomized trials with the drug. The study, which had a similar design to the planned South Dakota trial, found no benefit of hydroxychloroquine over a placebo as a post-exposure preventive therapy, according to the news release.

The South Dakota trial was in the early stages and had just recently opened for enrollment.

“After closely reviewing the new research, our clinical trial team determined that the South Dakota study is unlikely to see different results,” Susan Hoover, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford Health infectious disease doctor and principal investigator of the study said in the release.  “We’re focused on our goal of advancing the science around this disease and will continue to pursue other COVID-19 research.”

“From the beginning, all research decisions regarding this study have been in the hands of the research teams at Sanford, Avera, and Monument, and I value all of their hard work,” South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem said in the release. “The state appreciates working with the systems, and we will continue to invest our resources into the most promising approaches to preventing and treating COVID-19.”

The partners involved in the South Dakota study are evaluating additional options to collaborate on statewide COVID-19 research.

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