University College London (UCL), with funding from LifeArc, is set to conduct a placebo-controlled clinical trial to determine if early treatment with antiviral drugs favipiravir and lopinavir/ritonavir prevents the progression of COVID-19 in healthcare workers who have experienced symptoms for less than 3 days. Favipiravir, as a single therapeutic, has demonstrated early signs that is might offer potential clinical benefit in COVID-19 and both drugs have the potential to inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2. This UCL study aims to investigate the effect of favipiravir, lopinavir/ritonavir or the combination of both drugs on reducing viral load.
COVID-19 is thought to be a disease which in its early phase, when symptoms first present in patients, sees the virus replicate significantly. This is followed by an inflammatory phase which can result in severe damage to the lungs, a common deadly symptom seen in severe cases of COVID-19. The researchers hypothesise that giving effective early antiviral therapy will help to prevent progression to this second phase.
Children Are a Next Step On Way to Covid-19 Vaccine
There are many questions surrounding children’s role in the coronavirus pandemic but one thing is clear: they’ll need a vaccine, just like adults.That means injecting dozens of kids with an experimental product — a prospect that makes many parents nervous. The University of Oxford and AstraZeneca Plc plan to start testing their jab in 5- to 12-year-olds as schools and nurseries reopen in the UK.
Children appear to be less affected by Covid-19, though their role in transmission of the virus remains unclear. A vaccine would protect them and ensure they don’t infect others who are more at risk, like teachers or grandparents. But the pandemic has struck at a time of growing defiance against mass immunizations.
Roche Teams Up with Gilead for Actemra-Remdesivir Combo Trial
The COVID-19 pandemic created an unexpected boost for Roche when health facilities in China started snapping up its IL-6 inhibitor Actemra to treat dangerous complications in COVID-19 patients. Sales of the drug soared 30% in the first quarter of this year as the pandemic spread across the world.
Now, Roche is looking to boost Actemra’s profile in COVID-19 by launching a trial of the drug in combination with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral remdesivir, which was approved for emergency use May 1. Roche said Thursday it is collaborating with Gilead on a phase 3, 450-patient trial comparing remdesivir alone to a remdesivir-Actemra regimen in patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.Even though Gilead has yet to fully launch remdesivir, the research community is already buzzing about the potential to combine the drug with other attack mechanisms against COVID-19.