Covid-19. Where is the search for treatments?

The vaccination is progressing, but where are the treatments? While the high health authority gave, Friday August 6, its green light to preventive treatment for immunocompromised people, some drugs are in the testing phase while others have already proven their worth for certain categories of patients.

Overview of treatments against covid-19.

Three recommendations by the WHO

The World Health Organization currently recommends three drugs, considered effective enough for hospital patients, recalls the magazine Uzbek and Rica.

Dexamethasone, first of all, is a corticosteroid prescribed to hospitalized people needing respiratory assistance. It has been authorized since September by the WHO and the European Medicines Agency, based on the conclusions of the large British Recovery study. Its anti-inflammatory action would reduce the risk of death by a third in patients on a ventilator and a fifth in those on oxygen.

The two others, le tocilizumab and sarilumab produced by Sanofi, are monoclonal antibodies, that is, they target an antigen on the virus. According to WHO, the administration of these drugs reduces by 13% the risk of mortality but also “The need for mechanical ventilation” in the intensive care units in the hospital ?. These treatments are usually prescribed for rheumatoid arthritis.

Green light for Ronapreve preventive treatment in France

The High Authority for Health announced on Friday August 6 that immunocompromised people, running a significant risk of developing a severe form of Covid-19 and in whom the vaccines do not work well, may receive the Ronapreve treatment preventively, especially if they are in contact.

Developed by the American biotech Regeneron, in partnership with the Swiss laboratory Roche, this drug combines two monoclonal antibodies (casirivimab and imdevimab) directed specifically against the Spike protein of Sars-CoV-2. They work by preventing the virus from entering cells, thus fighting against its replication.

Also called REGEN-COV, this drug has already obtained authorization from the Japanese Ministry of Health on the basis of phase 3 studies showing that the drug combination reduces hospitalizations and deaths by 70%, reports Capital.

EU orders 220,000 doses of GSK’s Sotrovimab

The European Union relies on the monoclonal antibody-based treatment sotrovimab, developed by the British laboratory GSK. A contract for 220,000 doses was signed at the end of July.

This treatment has not yet been authorized in the EU but an analysis is underway at the level of the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

Sotrovimab is intended to be administered to patients with mild symptoms of Covid-19 who do not need to be placed on oxygen, while being at high risk of developing a severe form of the disease.

Temporary authorization of bamlanivimab

Another treatment based on monoclonal antibodies seems promising. It’s about bamlanivimab developed by the American laboratory Eli Lilly.

In March, the National Medicines Safety Agency issued a temporary authorization for the use of this medicine. It would limit the risk of severe forms occurring in the most vulnerable groups, such as patients over 80 years of age or immunocompromised, undergoing chemotherapy treatment or having pulmonary problems in particular.

At United States, bamlanivimab, combined with etesevimab, has been authorized on an emergency basis in the United States since the beginning of February, for people at risk, either because of their age or their medical history.

The hope of a Nantes start-up

The Nantes start-up, Xenothera, has also developed a treatment against Covid-19, designed from the serum of porc (genetically modified).

Xav-19 is a polyclonal antibody glyco-humanized intended for patients at the start of hospitalization with moderate pneumonia induced by Covid-19. It aims to stop the worsening of the disease by neutralizing the virus and to avoid a transfer to intensive care.

The French government has reserved 30,000 doses of it and if the High Authority for Health decides to grant early access authorization, XAV-19 could be offered to French patients from October 2021. The Nantes drug is currently in the pipeline. phase II / III clinical trial in 35 hospitals in France.

“Possible risks” with ivermectin

Another drug brings hope, but the results of tests on Ivermectin have yet to be confirmed. Many Internet users have relied on a recent study by the Institut Pasteur to claim that ivermectin was effective against covid-19 and that the authorities were hiding this inexpensive treatment to promote vaccines.

However, the study of the Pasteur Institute, published on July 12, relates only to animals. And if the first results show that this intestinal antiparasitic could reduce inflammation in the respiratory tract and reduce the risk of loss of smell, the researchers add however that this treatment does not act on the viral replication of the virus.

Many Indonesians are rushing for ivermectin, according to an article by Capital. However, its manufacturer, Merck, assures that the idea of ​​a “Potential therapeutic effect against Covid-19 has no scientific basis »And warns of “Possible risks if the drug was not administered correctly.” “

Other treatments could also emerge soon. Israeli scientists have claimed to have identified three formulas capable of effectively combating Covid-19, the July 20 reported. Times of Israël. Darapladib, a drug for the treatment of atherosclerosis, Flumatinib, used against cancer and finally a treatment against HIV – whose name has not been revealed – would show a success rate of “Almost 100%”. Clinical tests must now be carried out.

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