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Post-exposure Prophylaxis / Preemptive Therapy for SARS-Coronavirus-2 (COVID-19 PEP)

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04308668
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : March 16, 2020
Last Update Posted : April 3, 2020
McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
University of Manitoba
University of Alberta
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
University of Minnesota

Brief Summary:

Study Objective:

  1. To test if post-exposure prophylaxis with hydroxychloroquine can prevent symptomatic COVID-19 disease after known exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.
  2. To test if preemptive therapy with hydroxychloroquine early in the sypmptomatic COVID-19 disease course can prevent progression of persons with known symptomatic COVID19 disease, decrease hospitalization.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Corona Virus Infection Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome SARS-CoV Infection Coronavirus Coronavirus Infections Drug: Hydroxychloroquine Other: Placebo Phase 3

Detailed Description:

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a rapidly emerging viral infection causing COVID19. The current strategy uses a public health model of identifying infected cases, isolation, and quarantine to stop transmission. Once exposed, observation is standard-of-care. Therapy is generally not given to persons who are not hospitalized.

Hydroxychloroquine may have antiviral effects against SARS-COV2 which may prevent COVID-19 disease or early preemptive therapy may decrease disease severity. This trial will use a modification of standard malaria dosing of hydroxychloroquine to provide post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent disease or preemptive therapy for those with early symptoms. People around the the United States and Canada can participate to help answer this critically important question. No in-person visits are needed.

This trial is targeting 5 groups of people NATIONWIDE to participate:

  1. If you are symptomatic with a positive COVID-19 test within the first 4 days of symptoms and are not hospitalized; OR
  2. If you live with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, with your last exposure within the last 4 days, and do not have any symptoms; OR
  3. If you live with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and your symptoms started within the last 4 days; OR
  4. If you are a healthcare worker or first responder with known exposure to someone with lab-confirmed COVID-19 within the last 4 days and do not have symptoms; OR
  5. If you are a healthcare worker or first responder and have compatible symptoms starting within the last 4 days;

You may participate if you live anywhere in the United States (including territories) or in the Canadian Provinces of Quebec, Manitoba, or Alberta.

For information on how to participate in the research trial, go to or email for instructions. Please check your spam folder if you email.

In Canada, for trial information, please go to:

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Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Estimated Enrollment : 3000 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Intervention Model Description: Asymptomatic participants are randomized and analyzed separate from symptomatic participants.
Masking: Quadruple (Participant, Care Provider, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Post-exposure Prophylaxis and Preemptive Therapy for SARS-Coronavirus-2: A Pragmatic Randomized Clinical Trial
Actual Study Start Date : March 17, 2020
Estimated Primary Completion Date : April 21, 2020
Estimated Study Completion Date : May 12, 2020

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Treatment
Participants in this arm will receive the study drug.
Drug: Hydroxychloroquine
200mg tablet; 800 mg orally once, followed in 6 to 8 hours by 600 mg, then 600mg once a day for 4 consecutive days
Other Name: Plaquenil

Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Participants in this arm will receive a placebo treatment.
Other: Placebo
4 placebo tablets once, followed in 6 to 8 hours by 3 tablets, then 3 tablets once-a-day for 4 consecutive days

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Incidence of COVID19 Disease among those who are asymptomatic at trial entry [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Number of participants at 14 days post enrollment with active COVID19 disease.

  2. Ordinal Scale of COVID19 Disease Severity at 14 days among those who are symptomatic at trial entry [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Participants will self-report disease severity status as one of the following 3 options; no COVID19 illness (score of 1), COVID19 illness with no hospitalization (score of 2), or COVID19 illness with hospitalization or death (score of 3). Increased scale score indicates greater disease severity. Outcome is reported as the percent of participants who fall into each category per arm.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Incidence of Hospitalization [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Outcome reported as the number of participants in each arm who require hospitalization for COVID19-related disease.

  2. Incidence of Death [ Time Frame: 90 days ]
    Outcome reported as the number of participants in each arm who expire due to COVID-19-related disease.

  3. Incidence of Confirmed SARS-CoV-2 Detection [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Outcome reported as the number of participants in each arm who have confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection.

  4. Incidence of Symptoms Compatible with COVID19 (possible disease) [ Time Frame: 90 days ]
    Outcome reported as the number of participants in each arm who self-report symptoms compatible with COVID19 infection.

  5. Incidence of All-Cause Study Medicine Discontinuation or Withdrawal [ Time Frame: 14 days ]
    Outcome reported as the number of participants in each arm who discontinue or withdraw medication use for any reason.

  6. Overall symptom severity at 5 and 14 day [ Time Frame: 5 and 14 days ]
    Visual Analog Scale 0-10 score of rating overall symptom severity (0 = no symptoms; 10 = most severe)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older   (Adult, Older Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Provision of informed consent
  • Exposure to a COVID19 case within 4 days as either a healthcare worker or household contact, OR
  • Symptomatic COVID19 case with confirmed diagnosis within 4 days of symptom onset OR symptomatic healthcare worker with known COVID19 contact and within 4 days of symptom onset;

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Current hospitalization
  • Allergy to hydroxychloroquine
  • Retinal eye disease
  • Known glucose-6 phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD) deficiency
  • Known chronic kidney disease, stage 4 or 5 or receiving dialysis
  • Weight < 40 kg
  • Known Porphyria
  • Current use of: hydroxychloroquine or cardiac medicines of: flecainide, Tambocor; amiodarone, Cordarone, Pacerone; digoxin or Digox, Digitek, Lanoxin; procainamide or Procan, Procanbid, propafenone, Rythmal)

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04308668

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Contact: David Boulware (Please email), MD, MPH 6126249996

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United States, Minnesota
Nationwide Enrollment via Internet, please email: Recruiting
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455
Contact: David Boulware   
University of Minnesota Recruiting
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, 55455
Contact: David R Boulware, MD, MPH   
Sub-Investigator: Matt Pullen, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Sarah Lofgren, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Caleb Skipper, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Radha Rajasingham, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Mahsa Abassi, DO, MPH         
Sub-Investigator: Ananta Bangdiwala, MS         
Sub-Investigator: Kathy Hullsiek, PhD         
Sub-Investigator: Katelyn Pastick         
Sub-Investigator: Elizabeth Okafor         
United States, New York
Internet Recruiting
New York, New York, United States, 10001
Contact: David Boulware, MD   
Canada, Alberta
University of Alberta Recruiting
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Contact: Ilan Schwartz, MD   
Canada, Manitoba
University of Manitoba Recruiting
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Contact: Ryan Zarychanski, MD   
Contact: Lauren E Kelly, PhD   
Sub-Investigator: Glen Drobot, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Lauren MacKenzie, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Sylvain Lother, MD         
Canada, Quebec
Research Institute of the McGill University Heath Centre Recruiting
Montréal, Quebec, Canada
Contact: Todd C Lee, MD    5149341934 ext 32965   
Sub-Investigator: Emily G McDonald, MDCM MSc         
Sub-Investigator: Matthew P Chang, MDCM         
Sub-Investigator: Alek Lefebvre         
Sponsors and Collaborators
University of Minnesota
McGill University Health Centre/Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre
University of Manitoba
University of Alberta
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Principal Investigator: David Boulware, MD, MPH University of Minnesota

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Responsible Party: University of Minnesota Identifier: NCT04308668    
Other Study ID Numbers: STUDY00009267
First Posted: March 16, 2020    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: April 3, 2020
Last Verified: April 2020
Individual Participant Data (IPD) Sharing Statement:
Plan to Share IPD: No

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: Yes
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by University of Minnesota:
Corona Virus
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Communicable Diseases
Coronavirus Infections
Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn
Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Adult
Acute Lung Injury
Lung Diseases
Respiratory Tract Diseases
Respiration Disorders
Infant, Premature, Diseases
Infant, Newborn, Diseases
Virus Diseases
Lung Injury
Coronaviridae Infections
Nidovirales Infections
RNA Virus Infections
Respiratory Tract Infections
Antiprotozoal Agents
Antiparasitic Agents
Anti-Infective Agents
Enzyme Inhibitors
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Antirheumatic Agents