South Dakota has stopped its clinical trial testing the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 preventive treatment.

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The statewide hydroxychloroquine trial, a collaboration among Sanford Health, Avera Health and Monument Health, and sponsored by the state of South Dakota, has been discontinued following the publication of new research from a large controlled trial that found no efficacy in preventing COVID-19 for people exposed to the virus.

The University of Minnesota this week published the results of its study in the New England Journal of Medicine. It is one of the nation’s first randomized trials with the drug. The study, which had a similar design to the planned South Dakota trial, found no benefit of hydroxychloroquine over a placebo as a post-exposure preventive therapy.

The South Dakota trial was in the early stages and had just recently opened for enrollment.

“After closely reviewing the new research, our clinical trial team determined that the South Dakota study is unlikely to see different results,” said Susan Hoover, M.D., Ph.D., Sanford Health infectious disease doctor and principal investigator of the study. “We’re focused on our goal of advancing the science around this disease and will continue to pursue other COVID-19 research.”

“From the beginning, all research decisions regarding this study have been in the hands of the research teams at Sanford, Avera, and Monument, and I value all of their hard work,” said South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem. “The state appreciates working with the systems, and we will continue to invest our resources into the most promising approaches to preventing and treating COVID-19.”

The partners involved in the South Dakota study are evaluating additional options to collaborate on statewide COVID-19 research.


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