A 'cure' for the deadly coronavirus
Professor David Paterson — director at the Universtity of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research — said to news.com.au that the team of researchers have observed two drugs also used to treat other conditions wipe out the coronavirus in test tubes.
One of the medications given to a number of the first to test positive of COVID-19 in Australia, said Paterson, had already caused a "disappearance of the virus," followed by a complete recovery of the patient from infection.
Before reading on, watch the video from Daily Mail below to hear Paterson's own words on the "cure" to COVID-19.
Paterson — also an infectious disease physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women's Hospital — claims that it's no stretch to label the drugs "a treatment or a cure."
"It's a potentially effective treatment," said Paterson.
"Patients would end up with no viable coronavirus in their system at all after the end of therapy."
Both drugs are already registered and available in the country.
"What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we're going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs," he added.
In light of the drugs' respective histories, the researchers have a "long experience of them being very well tolerated" in the human immune system — meaning there are no expected side effects with treatment.
"We're not on a flat foot, we can sort of move ahead very rapidly with enrolling Australians in the trial," he added.
"It's the question we all have — we know it's coming now, what is the best way to treat it?"
Australia delivers the coronavirus 'cure' to the world
"Positive experiences" in the fight against the deadly coronavirus have already been recorded beyond Australia's borders, said Paterson, citing Singapore and China. His research team is confident they can transport the drugs to patients of other countries on their home soil.
"We want to give Australians the absolute best treatment rather than just someone's guesses or someone's anecdotal experiences from a few people," said Paterson to news.com.au.
He added that the team of researchers hopes to start enrolling patients by the end of March.
"And that way, if we can test it in this first wave of patients, we do fully expect that there are going to be ongoing infections for months and months ahead, and therefore we'll have the best possible information to treat subsequent patients," said Paterson.
"That's really our aim, to get real world experience in Australia," he added, referring to his home country as a proving ground for the world.
Paterson said new patients will be asked to participate in testing of the cure "as soon as they're admitted" to hospitals, to start treatment "very early on in their illness."
New HIV-based 'cure' inspired by Chinese patients
The research was inspired by Chinese patients, who were initially given the drug in Australia.
"Our doctors were very, very surprised that a HIV drug (sic) could actually work against the novel coronavirus and there was a bit of scepticism," said Paterson to news.com.au.
"That first wave of Chinese patients we had (in Australia), they all did very, very well when they were treated with the HIV drug," he said. "That's reassuring ... that we're onto something really good here."
A viable cure to the COVID-19 coronavirus — which has swept the world and infected more than 150,000 globally — would feel like a miracle if true. But as the world moves forward in testing the veracity of this "cure," it will be thanks to the medical ingenuity of Paterson, his team, and the international community of global scientists. Stay tuned here for the latest on the novel coronavirus.