Courage is knowing what not to fear.
Medication for treating COVID-19
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A new Covid drug designed to reduce the risk of vulnerable patients needing hospital treatment will be available on the NHS from today.
Sotrovimab is a monoclonal antibody given as a transfusion to transplant recipients, cancer patients and other high-risk groups.
If given quickly after symptoms develop it should help prevent people from falling seriously ill with the disease.
Initial tests suggest it should still work against the Omicron variant.
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To date most Covid treatments have focused on patients already in hospital with the disease - such as the cheap steroid dexamethasone and the arthritis drug Tocilizumab.
Now a second generation of Covid drugs are starting to come on stream - aimed at vulnerable patients at an earlier stage of infection.Initial clinical trials suggest sotrovimab, developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and Vir Biotechnology, is thought to reduce the risk of hospitalisation in high risk patients by 79%.
The drug works by binding to the spike protein on the outside of the virus, preventing it from entering human cells, so that it cannot replicate in the body.
GSK has said early laboratory tests suggest it should still work against the Omicron variant. More check are still needed, but researchers say the drug targets a part of the spike protein of the virus that has not undergone major changes or mutations.
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Florida's Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) continus his push to purchase monoclonal antibodies directly, slamming President Biden's leadership on the pandemic.
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Ivermectin, a drug used to fight parasites in third-world countries, could help reduce the length of infection for people who contract coronavirus for less than a $1 a day, according to recent research by Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer.
Prof. Eli Schwartz, founder of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease at Sheba, conducted a randomized, controlled, double-blinded trial from May 15, 2020, through the end of January 2021 to evaluate the effectiveness of ivermectin in reducing viral shedding among nonhospitalized patients with mild to moderate COVID-19.
Ivermectin has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration since 1987. The drug’s discoverers were awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in medicine for its treatment of onchocerciasis, a disease caused by infection with a parasitic roundworm.
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“Since ivermectin was on my shelf, since we are using it for tropical diseases, and there were hints it might work, I decided to go for it,” he said.
Researchers in other places worldwide began looking into the drug at around the same time. But when they started to see positive results, no one wanted to publish them, Schwartz said.
“There is a lot of opposition,” he said. “We tried to publish it, and it was kicked away by three journals. No one even wanted to hear about it. You have to ask how come when the world is suffering.”
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“Developing new medications can take years; therefore, identifying existing drugs that can be re-purposed against COVID-19 [and] that already have an established safety profile through decades of use could play a critical role in suppressing or even ending the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic,” . . .
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