To race to develop a vaccine to prevent coronavirus adds another competition between the main laboratories and a challenge that burns the eyelashes of the world’s scientists. Seeking new and effective drugs for those who are taking the covid-19.
Several trials of treatment “candidates” are currently underway. In a report, the national Ministry of Health detailed that, as of July 13, they were investigating almost 200 therapeutic options or their combinations in more than 1,700 clinical trials.
“The most encouraging results come from the use of dexamethasone and of remdesivir, each with moderate levels of evidence and particularities in the presentation of the information and its results, “added that work carried out by the National Commission for the Evaluation of Health Technologies (CONETEC).
Of course, a “promise” or “hope” today can be the great disappointment of tomorrow. For example, in several countries -including Argentina- clinical trials with hidroxicloroquina (antimalarial drug promoted by the French infectologist Didier Raoult and the president of the United States Donald Trump) and the combination lopinavir y ritonavir (used to treat HIV). They showed no significant effects in covid-19 patients.
This Monday, the American pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly and Company announced the start of phase 3 of a clinical trial to determine if one of your experimental covid-19 antibody treatments can prevent virus infection in nursing home residents and staff in United States.
Called LY-CoV555, it is a neutralizing antibody against SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes covid-19. The study will evaluate its efficacy and safety in preventing transmission and to determine if a single dose reduces the infection rate in four weeks, as well as complications of covid-19 in eight weeks, the company said.
More than 40% of coronavirus deaths in the United States are linked to nursing homes, which creates the urgent need for therapies to prevent coronavirus in this vulnerable population.
“Covid-19 has had a devastating effect on nursing home residents,” said Daniel Skovronsky, president of Lilly Research Laboratories. “We are working as fast as we can to create medicines that can stop the spread of the virus to these vulnerable individuals,” he continued.
The study is expected to the first of its kind, include 2,400 participants who live or work in centers that have recently been diagnosed with a case of covid-19 and now have a increased risk of exposure.
The antiviral remdesivir – initially developed against Ebola – was the first approved treatment for coronavirus. In the United States, she received an emergency use authorization. And the European Commission (EC) authorized its use in Europe, after the European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended it. It is indicated in adolescents (over 12 years old) and adults with pneumonia who require supplemental oxygen.
Another drug approved in some countries is favipiravir, an antiviral that is consumed orally and was designed to fight the flu. Already used in Russia and India for the treatment of mild and moderate symptoms of covid-19. Target the viral RNA to stop the virus from spreading.
Drugs in advanced phase
* Dexamethasone. It is a low-cost, 60-year-old generic drug used to treat ailments such as rheumatism, asthma, and allergies. His study linked to covid-19 is in phase 3 and is considered one of the most “promising”. It is indicated for patients with hypoxemia or moderate / severe disease.
* Anakinra. It is a drug that silences the protein interleukin-1. Their study is in phase 3, to evaluate the efficacy and safety in reducing hyperinflammation and respiratory distress in patients with covid-19.
* Ruxolitinib. It is a drug that usually used with hematological patients, against the rejection of the organism during the bone marrow transplant. It is in phase 3 research to treat the coronavirus. We seek to evaluate its efficacy and safety in patients with cytokine storm associated with covid-19.
* Levilimab. It is a drug originally developed to treat rheumatoid arthritis. Showed the first positive results for the coronavirus. The clinical trial is in phase 3, and it is being tested for the new coronavirus at 11 clinical trial centers in Russia.
• Tocilizumab. The Roche firm last week provided an update on the phase 3 study of this drug, the active ingredient of Actemra / RoActemra: it did not achieve its primary objective of improving clinical status in hospitalized adult patients with severe covid-19 pneumonia, nor the secondary objective of reducing mortality in this group of patients.