Low-priced dexamethasone first life-saving COVID-19 drug

Modesto Morganelli
Июня 16, 2020

In a statement, Patrick Vallance, the United Kingdom government's chief scientific adviser, called the result "tremendous news" and "a ground-breaking development in our fight against the disease". "I think it needs to be validated, but it certainly suggests that this could be beneficial in this setting".

"It has been a tremendous collaborative effort, and we're now focused on making large quantities of these promising antibodies for clinical trials", co-lead author of the study Thomas Rogers, an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Immunology & Microbiology at Scripps Research, and assistant professor of Medicine at UC San Diego, told SRI press.

In the trial, a total of 2,104 patients were randomised to receive dexamethasone 6 milligrammes once per day - either by mouth or by intravenous injection - for ten days, and were compared with 4321 patients randomised to usual care alone.

They have described the use of common steroid drug dexamethasone as a "major breakthrough".

According to new research and emerging evidence, COVID-19 could trigger the onset of diabetes in healthy people and also cause severe complications for patients with pre-existing diabetes. Both results were statistically significant.

Koralnik and colleagues have formed a Neuro-COVID research team and started a retrospective analysis of all COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Northwestern Medicine to determine the frequency and type of neurological complications, as well as response to treatment.

"This is a result that shows that if patients who have Covid-19 and are on ventilators or are on oxygen are given dexamethasone, it will save lives, and it will do so at a remarkably low cost", said Martin Landray, an Oxford University professor who is co-leading the trial. He added that the drug should now become the standard treatment for patients with Covid-19 who need oxygen.

It is thought the drug could have saved between 4,000 to 5,000 lives if it had been used earlier in the pandemic.

The findings have been published from the Recovery trial which is assessing a number of different possible coronavirus treatments. Yesterday, based in part on those results, the Food and Drug Administration revoked an Emergency Use Authorization for using hydroxychloroquine in those patients.

A vaccine candidate against COVID-19 (the SARS-CoV-2 virus), provided by Imperial College London. The first medicine shown to have a benefit, remdesivir from the biotech firm Gilead Sciences, falls into this category, even though, because it must be given intravenously, it has been tested in hospitalized patients. They are now being produced as a potential treatment and preventive course for the novel coronavirus infection.

Patients given dexamethasone and who were not on a ventilator saw death rates drop by a fifth in comparison to standard care. The National Institutes of Health is conducting a study of an Eli Lilly pill targeting rheumatoid arthritis, an extension of the study that showed remdesivir has a benefit.

New research indicates COVID-19 could trigger the development of diabetes in healthy people, prompting experts to establish a registry for COVID-19 and diabetes data.

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