he World Health Organization is resuming a clinical trial exploring whether the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine can effectively treat Covid-19, after pausing enrollment in the study to review safety concerns about the drug.The hydroxychloroquine investigation is just one arm of the agency’s Solidarity Trial, which is testing different therapies to determine which are beneficial in the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. The WHO last week temporarily suspended the hydroxychloroquine arm after a separate study published in the Lancet raised warnings about the drug’s safety
Outside experts, however, have since questioned the sources and analysis of the patient data included in the Lancet study, which were provided by a little-known company called Surgisphere. They cited inconsistencies in the data — some of which have since been corrected — and a lack of transparency about which countries and hospitals provided the information.
Trial Investigates Unique Formulation of Ibuprofen
The LIBERATE trial is a pioneering collaboration between London’s Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, King’s College London and the pharmaceutical organisation the SEEK Group.The study aims to reduce respiratory failure with COVID-19, which may decrease the need for more aggressive intervention such as ventilation, and decrease the length of hospital stay.
The drug is a unique formulation of ibuprofen, that is already licensed for use in the UK, and is widely used for other conditions. The drug differs from standard ibuprofen. The LIBERATE trial will be a randomized study, with half of the recruited patients receiving standard care and the other half receiving the drug in addition to standard care. The drug will be administered at a very specific stage of the disease, to hospitalized patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19.
FUJIFILM Partners with Bio-pharmaceutical Company to Make Potential COVID-19 Vaccine
This week, New York-based Tonix Pharmaceuticals has partnered with FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in College Station to develop a manufacturing process, manufacture and stock a supply of TNX-1800, a COVID-19 vaccine candidate from Tonix.Tonix CEO, Dr. Seth Lederman says TNX-1800 is a modification of their horsepox vaccine, TNX-801.”It is from an infectious disease that infected horses a long time ago. It hasn’t been observed in the United States ever and hasn’t been observed in the world in about 50 years, but it’s a very useful way to bring this antigen from COVID-19 into human cells in the body and stimulate them to make a new response against it,” said Dr. Lederman.
Dr. Lederman says they’ll begin developing a manufacturing process with FUJIFILM next month.“It will take several months to do what’s called ‘manufacture development,’ but we hope to have a vaccine that we can test in human beings in 2021,” said Dr. Lederman.