France's leading role in search for Covid-19 cure

France has around 50 trials under way into possible Covid-19 treatments – more than any other EU country.

It has taken a lead in particular in the European Discovery programme, a major study involving 3,200 hospital patients in eight countries, including 800 in France. It is testing four existing medicines to see if they are effective.

The first results were expected to come out in late April – early May.

High-profile Professor Didier Raoult (right), an infectious diseases specialist from Marseille and a member of the government’s Covid-19 scientific advisory council, has championed the use of hydroxychloroquine, a variant of the malaria drug chloroquine.

People have been queuing at Marseille’s IHU Méditérranée Infection hospital for testing at his clinic, where ...

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