A new combination of antibodies, developed by the pharmaceutical Regeneron, substantially reduced the risk of death in patients affected with covid-19 severe, based on the findings of a large clinical trial conducted in the UK.
The study also found that this treatment simultaneously reduces the chances that critically ill patients will need a ventilator, as well as the length of their hospital stay.
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The trial, conducted between September 18, 2020 and May 22, with 9,785 hospitalized people affected with the virus, revealed that with the combination of the antibodies called casirivimab and imdevimab, known as Regen-Cov, in addition to care regular physicians, the fatal risk was reduced by a fifth among patients admitted with coronavirus who had not generated antibodies to the virus themselves.
When a person is infected, their immune system can generally produce natural antibodies to fight the virus in this case. But some patients cannot generate this natural defense right away, and their disease ends up worsening.
The researchers also observed that this drug did not cause any effect in those who did generate antibodies.
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To date, these types of treatments have only worked in the mildest cases of the disease.
“What we have found among these patients who were seronegative, who had not generated antibodies by themselves, is that if I administered this combination of two antibodies with intravenous infusion, mortality was reduced by a fifth ”, remarked Martin Landray, professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford and researcher on this trial.
Added that Instead of 30 percent dying, 24 percent died. Put differently, for every 100 patients who received the intravenous infusion, we would save six lives. “
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“We take a group of people, they are sick, they are hospitalized, they have covid-19, they do not generate antibodies by themselves; this will reduce your chances of dying, shorten your hospital stay and reduce your chances of needing a ventilator ”he explained.
Professor Stephen Powis, national medical director of the public health body NHS England, commented that “these encouraging results” suggest “a new treatment option to help save the lives of some hospitalized patients with covid-19”.
The combination therapy is already licensed in the United States for the treatment of outpatients with COVID-19 at risk of developing severe symptoms. The data reported Wednesday will be used to request an expanded authorization of the emergency use of the drug cocktail for this large subset of hospitalized patients.
Colombians, on that route
For their part, researchers from the National University demonstrated that the mixture of drugs could be a therapeutic alternative to reduce mortality and time in intensive care units (ICU) of patients severely affected by covid-19.
The study, which is in preprint on the MedRxiv portal, ensures that the combination of antivirals for the treatment of HIV, antigout drugs and drugs for the control of cholesterol in the blood, when administered in patients with SarAs-CoV-2, decrease in a 30 percent need for mechanical ventilation and could lower the risk of death by 35 percent, compared to standard treatments.
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The study, led by Professor Hernando Gaitán Duarte, from the Clinical Research Institute of the National University of Colombia, specifically showed that hospitalized patients who received the combination of tenofovir / emtricitabine (antiretrovirals against HIV) in conjunction with colchicine (drug to control gout, a type of arthritis) and rosuvastatin (drug to control cholesterol) had the effects described above.
According to the researcher, these findings are an important option for the management of covid patients in Colombia, which is why for months there has been a high occupancy of ICUs in Bogotá and other hospital areas.
A group of researchers from the National University of Colombia (Unal), the Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, the Sanitas University Foundation participated in the analysis, in collaboration with some health institutions in Bogotá such as the National University Hospitals (HUN) and San Ignacio, the Colombia, Reina Sofía and Santa María del Lago clinics, and Fundación Cardioinfantil.
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“Among the evaluated treatments was a combined strategy of drugs with direct action against the Sars-CoV-2 virus and others that control the exaggerated inflammatory response in patients with the virus, in order to improve the prognosis of the disease in individuals who require hospitalization for this disease. All drugs are widely used in other indications and are considered safe in current clinical practice.l ”, details Professor Gaitán, the project’s research leader.
The study had the financial support of the National Government, through the Ministry of Science and Technology (Minciencias), and on June 22 of this year it presented its results through a widely recognized international scientific publication to be evaluated under global scientific scrutiny. .
With information from EFE.