4 Potential Drug Treatment Options to Battle This Outbreak of Coronavirus
Photo by Bill Oxford
Last December, stories started surfacing of a new virus affecting the Chinese city of Wuhan. At the epicenter of the outbreak, Chinese officials started building new hospitals to aid the people in need. What started out as something that looked like a flu epidemic, soon escalated into a full blown pandemic, called the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2).
As numbers of infected people are on the rise, the impact on people’s lives
continues to grow, beyond anything most of us have ever witnessed in our lives.
Social distancing and thorough hand washing seem to be the primary action humans need to abide by in order to slow down the spreading of the virus.
On the 19th of March, US President Trump announced three promising drug treatments to battle the coronavirus. Two of them, chloroquine and
hydroxychloroquine have been approved by the FDA to start clinical trials on treating the coronavirus. The other is Regeneron, a drug that has previously been used to successfully treat people infected with the Ebola virus.
World Health Organization (WHO) Senior Advisor, Bruce Aylward, stated, ‘There’s only one drug right now that we think will have real efficacy, and that’s remdesivir’.
I would like to emphasize that I am not an expert in this field, all the
information stated in this article is based on reliable sources (official
government or national health authorities), field experts like virologists and research papers on the topic.
At least until March 20th, there was not yet any proven antidote against the coronavirus.
Chinese researchers notices quicker recoveries and milder symptoms in COVID19 patients that were given chloroquine.
The only manufacturer of chloroquine located in the US (New Jersey), Rising Pharmaceuticals, raised the price of chloroquine in January by 100%, amidst the increasing amount of people that got infected with the coronavirus.
Hydroxychloroquine, or better known as Plaquenil (brandname), is a working substance used to prevent and treat malaria. It is also widely available to treat auto-immune diseases and rheumatic arthritis. While chloroquine can be highly toxic, an overdose can result in poisoning or death, hydroxychloroquine is about 40% less toxic.
for COVID-19 after 6 days. Almost 90% of patients in the control group still tested positive for COVID-19 after 6 days. In this Tweet, by @AppleHelix you can see the difference between groups very clear.
Regeneron and Sanofi
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals and Sanofi are working on getting Kevzara approved to be a treatment option for the novel coronavirus. Kevzara is officially a drug that is being used to treat rheumatic arthritis. The clinical trial will research the effect kevzara has on reducing inflammation in the lungs. This isn’t the only COVID-19 related trial they have planned.
Scientists at Regeneron are testing on mice that have been genetically modified to have a working human immune system. The company aims to start clinical trials by early summer. The trial consists of a multi-antibody cocktail to be administered to people to treat the coronavirus either before or after infection.
According to their website, Gilead Sciences has eight locations in the US.
On March 17th remdesivir has been officially approved as a drug to treat COVID-19 patients with severe symptoms in the Czech Republic.
After doing this research, I must say I am surprised by the overall abilities to use existing medicine to treat COVID-19. The research that has been previously done on anti-virus drugs to treat SARS and MERS, can be further built upon with coronavirus patients after approval from the proper authorities. However, most treatments are for faster recovery and/or reducing the symptoms.
the end of April.
properly on people with the coronavirus, so it is no official treatment drug
I hope clinical testing with the previously mentioned drugs will have a positive effect on COVID-19 patients. I applaud national health organizations for stepping up to the plate and working around the clock to get clinical trials approved as soon as possible. Hopefully a drug treatment will be approved and the medicine will be available at a reasonable cost for everyone.
Some interesting reads about clinical trail related to treating COVID-19 patients:
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