Blog posts inaccurately claim that a 2005 NIH study demonstrated the effectiveness of chloroquine treatment against coronavirus infection such as COVID-19 - Health Feedback

Blog posts inaccurately claim that a 2005 NIH study demonstrated the effectiveness of chloroquine treatment against coronavirus infection such as COVID-19

Developing or repurposing drugs is a long, stepwise process with a low chance of success. In vitro studies are the first step in that process. Given the high rate of failure, it is impossible to conclude from positive in vitro studies that a drug will be efficient at treating a living person. The 2005 study cited in these articles was actually a Canada-funded study, which revealed an effect of chloroquine on SARS-CoV-1 infection in cell cultures. Contrary to what the articles suggest, the study was not conducted or funded by the NIH. Although SARS-CoV-1 shares some similarities with the current SARS-CoV-2, an in vitro study of the former does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude that it will effectively treat COVID-19.