A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Multicenter Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of ThymoQuinone Formula (TQF) for Treating Outpatient SARS-CoV-2

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Bencheqroun H., Ahmed Y., KOÇAK M., Villa E., Barrera C., Mohiuddin M., ...More

Pathogens, vol.11, no.5, 2022 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 11 Issue: 5
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/pathogens11050551
  • Journal Name: Pathogens
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, BIOSIS, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: COVID-19, TQ Formula, pandemic, coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2
  • Istanbul Medipol University Affiliated: Yes


There is an urgent need for an oral drug for the treatment of mild to moderate outpatient SARS-CoV-2. Our preclinical and clinical study’s aim was to determine the safety and preliminary efficacy of oral TQ Formula (TQF), in the treatment of outpatient SARS-CoV-2. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial, we randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) non-hospitalized, adult (>18 years), symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 patients to receive oral TQF or placebo. The primary endpoints were safety and the median time-to-sustained-clinical-response (SCR). SCR was 6 days in the TQF arm vs. 8 days in the placebo arm (p = 0.77), and 5 days in the TQF arm vs. 7.5 days in the placebo arm in the high-risk cohort, HR 1.55 (95% CI: 0.70, 3.43, p = 0.25). No significant difference was found in the rate of AEs (p = 0.16). TQF led to a significantly faster decline in the total symptom burden (TSB) (p < 0.001), and a significant increase in cytotoxic CD8+ (p = 0.042) and helper CD4+ (p = 0.042) central memory T lymphocytes. TQF exhibited an in vitro inhibitory effect on the entry of five SARS-CoV-2 variants. TQF was well-tolerated. While the median time-to-SCR did not reach statistical significance; it was shorter in the TQF arm and preclinical/clinical signals of TQF activity across multiple endpoints were significant. Therefore, a confirmatory study is planned.