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Oracle Works With White House For Informal Testing Of Antimalarial Drugs For COVID-19 Effectiveness

Neer Varshney

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Oracle Corporation (NYSE: ORCL) is creating a website and mobile applications for collecting data on the treatment of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) patients with antimalarial drugs, the Washington Post reported Tuesday.

What Happened

Oracle is donating the project to the federal government, which will maintain oversight, according to the Post.

The platforms will collect information from doctors about administering the drugs to their coronavirus patients to determine their effectiveness based on data outside of more established methods of clinical trials.

The Trump administration is also exploring whether the participating doctors should receive bonus payments, the Post noted.

President Donald Trump was convinced of the effectiveness of two antimalarial drugs, chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, for the coronavirus after multiple conversations with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, multiple officials familiar with the matter told the Post.

Why It Matters

Ellison is a long-term backer of Trump, and earlier this year held a fundraiser for his re-election bid, even as hundreds of employees walked out as a protest, Time reported in February.

The president has publicly advocated for the use of both drugs for COVID-19 based on anecdotal evidence from China and France.

Many healthcare officials, including within the Trump administration, have called for more evidence, in particular for proper clinical trials to be conducted, before the drugs are recommended for COVID-19 patients.

"Many of the things that you hear out there are what I had called anecdotal reports," White House Coronavirus Task Force member Anthony Fauci said on the antimalarial drugs on Saturday, as per the Post.

"They may be true, but they're anecdotal. So the only thing that I was saying is that if you really want definitively to know if something works, that you've got to do the kind of trial that you get, the good information."

At least 18,615 people across the globe have lost their lives to the deadly virus, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Nearly 418,000 have been infected, as the risk of further exponential spread remains.

Price Action

Oracle's shares closed 8.26% higher at $47.84 on Tuesday and traded another 0.23% higher in the after-hours session at $47.95.

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