W.H.O. Testing 3 Drugs in Broad Search for Covid Treatments
The World Health Organization is testing three additional drugs in a massive global trial to find effective treatments for Covid-19, the agency said on Wednesday.
The trial, which involves researchers from more than 600 hospitals in 52 countries, will assess whether drugs that have already been approved for other uses – one for malaria, one for cancer and one for autoimmune diseases – can reduce the risk of death in patients. who are hospitalized with the Covid.
WHO director-general Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Wednesday he hoped “one or more of the drugs” would prove effective in treating the virus.
While there are already treatments available for people with Covid-19, including steroids and monoclonal antibodies, Dr Tedros said: “We need more for patients at all ends of the clinical spectrum. “
The first phase of WHO’s trials for new drugs, which it dubbed Solidarity, has yielded disappointing results. Researchers found that four different drugs, including hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir, an antiviral drug, had little or no benefit for hospitalized Covid patients.
The three drugs in the new trial, called Solidarity Plus, were selected by a panel of independent experts and are offered by their manufacturers, Ipca, Novartis and Johnson & Johnson. The drugs are artesunate, an antimalarial drug which may have an anti-inflammatory effect; imatinib, an anticancer medicine that may help reverse lung damage; and infliximab, a drug for autoimmune disorders that may help dampen an overly aggressive immune response to the virus.
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