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Lianhua Qingwen clinical trial under way in Singapore for the use of treating COVID-19

Lianhua Qingwen capsules. (Photo: Facebook/Yiling Pharma)

A clinical trial has been approved in Singapore to study the use of traditional Chinese medicine Lianhua Qingwen in treating adults with mild COVID-19.

The Health Sciences Authority (HSA) said on Wednesday (April 20) that the purpose of the study is to assess what effect the pills, when given in addition to current standard medical treatment, may have on the time taken for full-vaccinated adults here on home recovery with mild Covid-19 to recover from their symptoms.

The trial also aims to assess how the medicine may affect the time taken for someone to obtain a negative Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was initiated by the Singapore Chung Hwa Medical Institution, and approved by HSA on Jan 18 this year.

On HSA's clinical trial registry, Dr Ong Sze Tat from Ubi Family Clinic and Surgery and Dr Zuraimi Mohamed Dahlan from Banyan Clinic @ JW are listed as the study's principal investigators.

A total of 300 people, aged between 21 and 79, are expected to be involved in the trial, according to the website - an international database of clinical studies maintained by the United States National Library of Medicine.

The study aims to "assist policymakers in incorporating clinically proven TCM treatment for mild COVID-19 patients on home recovery" as well as establish guidelines on the use of TCM for pandemic treatment, the website stated.

It added that investigators hypothesise that TCM intervention could reduce the time of eight major COVID-19 symptoms, including fever, sore throat and body aches, as well as reduce the time to a negative ART result for mild coronavirus cases by up to 1.5 times.

The randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study is expected to be completed by December.

What is Lianhua Qingwen Capsule

The Lianhua Qingwen medication was first developed in China in the year 2003, specifically in response to the SARS outbreak in China. In July 2003, the first Lianhua Qingwen product and preparation method patent CN1194752C disclosed an antiviral traditional Chinese medicine composition and preparation method. The instructions in the specification confirmed that the traditional Chinese medicine composition can be used as a treatment for atypical pneumonia and prophylactic drugs.

According to reports, Lianhua Qingwen had played a vital role in respiratory-related public health incidents many times since its launch. During the SARS epidemic in 2003, this anti-SARS Chinese patent medicine Lianhua Qingwen Capsule entered China’s National New Drug Fast Track (国家新药快速通道) as a prescription drug in May 2003. In May 2004, it obtained China’s National Pharmaceutical Standard Number and was listed by Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China as one of the first Chinese patent medicines for the treatment of SARS.

To find out more about the TCM theory behind Lianhua QingWen, click here

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