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3% Clioquinol Cream: A Likely Zinc Medication for Preventing and Terminating COVID-19 Infections. It is Available NOW!

06-29-2020 08:26 AM CET | Health & Medicine

Press release from: University of Mryland, Baltimore

An effective chemotherapy that terminates this virus and/or its infection has not existed. Administrators at NIAID, FDA, CDC, and others in the medical and political communities have focused on the need for a medication to prevent and/or treat the COVID-19 infection. That effort will likely take up to 2 years to achieve. In the meantime, based largely on anecdotal information and unverified clinical studies, chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine has been promoted as the interim treatment for COVID-19 infections.

No corroborating clinical studies exist that support the representation that chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is a successful treatment for COVID-19 infections. Instead, several reports have refuted the claims that chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for infected patients [1-6].

The administrators and others subsequently recognized the failure of that treatment. As an alternative, the NIH/NIAID Director (Dr. Anthony Fauci) is now promoting remdesivir; which decreases the recovery time for COVID-19 patients from 15 to 11 days (27%). Remdesivir interferes with the replication of the virus. However, it does not terminate the infection or the coronavirus [7]. Nevertheless, remdesivir is being presented as the interim treatment until new medications are developed.

Based on the perceived absence of an existing efficacious chemotherapy, a major international effort is proceeding to develop effective new medications that will prevent and/or terminate COVID-19 infections, which will take 1-2 years. Over that period, about 250,000-500,000 infection cases and 6,000-12,000 deaths are expected in the U.S.; and 1-2 million cases and 50,000-100,000 deaths are expected worldwide.
That has led to a race to be first with a cure for COVID-19. Consequently, most claims of successful treatments for Covid-19 infections have been anecdotal and uncorroborated. They have not been subjected to the evaluation and scrutiny required for the publication in a reputable journal. Even those that are published, most often do not adhere to the conditions required for a scientific method approach and its conclusions. That is representative of the admonition of Claude Bernard (the “father" of the scientific method): “If men (or women) discuss and experiment to prove a preconceived idea in spite of everything, they no longer have freedom of mind, and they no longer search for truth.” This emphasizes that the existing ad hoc anecdotal information is questionable; and is likely not worthy of publication in a reputable medical/scientific journal.

A potential medication already exists. 3% Clioquinol Cream is based on the zinc ionophore properties of clioquinol. Animal model studies [8] demonstrated that clioquinol treatment results in 85% inhibition of human prostate cancer tumor growth. That information provided the basis for employing 3% Clioquinol Cream in the treatment of a patient with terminal advanced prostate cancer. It resulted in the termination of the malignancy; which is the first case report [9] of a successful treatment for that malignancy. For two years since the treatment, the patient has no adverse side effects, and he has resumed his normal activities.

Zinc plays a major role in the development and progression of all malignant cells. Compared to normal cells, malignant cells exhibit decreased zinc and the downregulation of their zinc-uptake transporter. This malignant transformation prevents the uptake and accumulation of the high zinc level that exists in the normal cells; but is cytotoxic in the malignant cells. The coronavirus also exhibits a deficient zinc transporter and a decrease in zinc.

That relationship leads to the expectation that a zinc ionophore with the appropriate properties will facilitate the transport of zinc into the malignant cell or coronavirus, and induce the cytotoxic effects.
Support is provided by the Krenn et al 1999 report [10] which concluded: “We provide evidence that both pyrithione and hinokitiol (zinc ionophores) inhibit replication of picornaviruses by impairing viral polyprotein processing. The basis of the antiviral activity is dependent upon the availability of zinc ions. We show that the import of extracellular zinc ions is a key feature of the common antiviral property of these compounds.” The advantageous zinc ionophore properties of clioquinol support the expectation that 3% Clioquinol Cream will be an efficacious medication for the prevention and treatment of Covid-19 infections; and will also induce coronavirus cytotoxicity and death.

When 3% Clioquinol Cream Cream is massaged into the skin, the clioquinol is absorbed into the blood plasma; and it binds to the exchangeable zinc. ZnClioquinol is delivered to the malignancy site and binds to the cell membrane. The zinc is transferred from ZnClioquinol into the cytosol. There, the zinc binds to the ligands that result in cytotoxic effects, and terminates the malignancy.

ZnClioquinol has a zinc-binding affinity of logKf=7-8; which is ideal for the competitive binding of most of the plasma zinc that exists in the exchangeable ZnLigands. In contrast, chloroquine zinc ionophore (ZnChloroquine) has a logKf=5-6. Consequently, it competitively binds with much less zinc that is delivered to the malignant site. That is the reason for the ambivalent, if any, effects of chloroquine/hydroxychlororquine.

The poor zinc ionophore properties of chloroquine/hydroxychlororquine dictate that it should not be promoted for the treatment of COVID-19. Instead, 3% Clioquinol Cream is more effective and should be recommended.

An issue of clioquinol toxicity is often raised. It is based on an the occurrence of subacute myelo-optic neuropathy (SMON) in a Japanese population around 1980 that was experiencing an epidemic of intestinal amoebiasis. The excessive use of 250 mg clioquinol tablets induced SMON. Articles [11,12] that reviewed the incident determined that SMON was not linked to clioquinol in other populations; or even in Japan, aside from this one incident. They concluded: “Over-readiness to accept postulated toxic effects of medicines and chemicals as proven is likely to do at least as much harm as good to the individual and community health”.

Summary: Collectively, the information provides extensive evidence that 3% Clioquinol Cream will be an effective and safe chemotherapy for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infections. The administrators at the FDA, CDC, NIH NIAID, and other members of the medical community, and the political community should consider that:
• 1. Hydroxychloroquine has been revealed to be ineffective as an efficacious chemotherapy for the treatment of COVID-19 infections.
• 2. Administrators at FDA, CDC, NIAID, and others subsequently recognized the above relationships; and no longer promote chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine.
• 3. Remdesivir is now promoted for the treatment of COVID-19 in interferes with the replication of the virus. It does not terminate the infection or the coronavirus. It is the interim treatment until new medications are developed.
• 4. It is not necessary to wait 1-2 years for the development of effective new medications; during which time, thousands of COVID-19 cases and deaths will occur in the U.S. and worldwide.
• 5. 3% Clioquinol Cream is an efficacious treatment for malignancy.
• 6. 3% Clioquinol Cream should be an effective chemotherapy for COVID-1 infections.
• 7. Without further delay, physicians can prescribe 3% Clioquinol Cream for the “off label” and “right to try” treatment for COVID-19 infection.
• 8. The FDA should proceed with clinical trials for approving 3% Clioquinol Cream specifically for the treatment of COVID-19 infections.

1. Colson P, Rolain JM, Raoult D. Chloroquine for the 2019 novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Internat J Antimicrob Agents. 55: 1-2, 2020.
2. Gatlin A. Covid Report: A Trump-Touted Malaria Drug Flops In Coronavirus Treatment. Invest Business Daily; Apr 24, 2020
3. Ferner RE, Aronson JK. The Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine develops, promotes and disseminates better evidence for healthcare. April 14, 2020.
4. Kasprak A. Has Dr. Zelenko Successfully Treated 669 Coronavirus Patients? Snopes; Mar 30, 2020
5. Di Tranic L, Donatellib I, Cauda R, Cassoneb A. New insights into the antiviral effects of chloroquine. The Lancet Infect Dis; 6: 67-69, 2006
6. Wang M, Cao R, Zhang L, Yang X, Liu J, Xu M, Shi Z, Hu Z, Zhong W, Xiao G. Remdesivir and chloroquine effectively inhibit the recently emerged novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in vitro. Cell Research 30:269–271, 2020
7. Fox M, Gumbrecht J, Yan H, Klein B. FDA will reportedly authorize use of remdesivir for Covid-19 after trial shows 'positive effect' on recovery time. CNN Health; April 30, 2020
8. Costello LC, Franklin RB, Zou J, Naslund MJ. Evidence that Human Prostate Cancer is a ZIP1-Deficient Malignancy that could be Effectively Treated with a Zinc Ionophore (Clioquinol) Approach. Chemotherapy (Los Angel); 4:152,2015.
9. Costello LC, Franklin RB, Yu GW. A Novel Patient Case Report to Show the Successful Termination of Untreatable Androgen-independent Prostate Cancer: Treatment with Cabergoline (Dopamine agonist). Mathews J Case Rep; 4:42,2019.
10. Krenn BM, Gaudernak E, Holzer B, Lanke K, Van Kuppeveld FJM, Seipelt J. Antiviral activity of the zinc ionophores pyrithione and hinokitiol against picornavirus infections. J Virol; 83:58–64, 2009.
11. Bareggi SR, Cornelli U. Clioquinol: review of its mechanisms of action and clinical uses in neurodegenerative disorders. CNS Neurosci Ther. 2012;18(1):41‐46, 2012.
12. Mao X, Schimmer AD. The Toxicology of Clioquinol. Toxicol. Letters; 182:1-6, 2008.
Article posted on 06/07/2020 by:
Professor Leslie C. Costello
Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences
University of Maryland School of Dentistry; and the
University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Cancer Center
Baltimore, Md. 21201
Brief biosketch: Professor Leslie C. Costello is in the group of top 5% biomedical Scientists in the world. He received 21 NIH research grants. Since 1975, 13 NIH grants focused on the zinc relationships in prostate cancer. He has about 200 published reports and book chapters; 100 focus on zinc and cancer relationships; including 4 articles since 2015 that focus on clioquinol. He is coauthor of the book: Mitochondria and Cancer, 1977. Those studies resulted in the identification that increased zinc is cytotoxic in malignant cells, and that the malignant cells avoid this by the downregulation of the zinc-uptake transporter. That led to the finding that clioquinol treatment facilitates the transport of zinc into the malignant cells, and induces its malignancy cytotoxic effects. Those relationships provide the basis for clioquinol treatment of COVID-19.

Professor Leslie C. Costello, PhD.
The Department of Oncology and Diagnostic Sciences
The School of Dentistry; University of Maryland
650 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21201
410 706 7618

The University of Maryland at Baltimore includes the University of Maryland Medical Center; and the University of Maryland Greenebaum Comprehensive Medical Center. It is recognized as one of the major health sciences center in the U.S.

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