March 16, 2020 / David Jagielski
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) released a statement on Monday that said there wasn’t sufficient evidence to suggest its HIV drug darunavir (DRV) can effectively treat COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
The company said HIV drugs are being considered as possible treatment options largely due to limited and “unpublished virological and clinical data” that demonstrated they were effective in treating the SARS coronavirus. Currently, HIV-1 patients use DRV with a boosting agent and in combination use with other antiretrovirals. There’s no published data to suggest the combination would be effective in treating COVID-19, according to the company’s press release.
J&J said it’s working with multiple organizations to develop possible treatment options for COVID-19. However, the company stopped short of saying DRV is not a possible solution itself. J&J pointed out that there are three clinical studies in China that will assess DRV-based medicines and whether they can be effective against SARS-CoV-2.