Global Search For a COVID-19 Treatment

Race to find a COVID-19 vaccine
Source: Pixabay

China is preparing for a second wave of novel coronavirus infections, and at least 20% of the world is in lockdown right now. We’re all aware of the health and economic devastation that the COVID-19 global outbreak is causing – it’s virtually impossible not to be. But human beings are resourceful, and the same species that invented the wheel are now actively searching for effective treatments for the new coronavirus. Mummys Gold Online Casino takes a look below into what is being done.

Countries Standing in Solidarity

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has launched SOLIDARITY, a global study involving several countries and four different experimental treatments. Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, explained that with the coordinated trials it is hoped robust, high-quality results will be found quicker than in any previous pandemic.

In Norway alone, 22 health facilities are participating in the study. The list includes Oslo University Hospital, and researchers hope to be able to report findings as early as May this year. Since experts say that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, this is very exciting news.

The Drugs Being Tested

The four drug therapies being tested in the SOLIDARITY trials are chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine; lopinavir plus ritonavir; lopinavir plus ritonavir and interferon-beta; and remdesivir. Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have been effective as antimalarial drugs for decades. They seem to also be prophylactic and curative, prompting the WHO to investigate them in regard to COVID-19.

Lopinavir and ritonavir are antiretrovirals that are administered together, in a branded drug called Kaletra, to treat HIV infections. In January 2020, respected medical journal The Lancet published findings suggesting the drug combination could help with SARS-CoV-2.

The medications work by targeting a specialised molecule seen in both coronaviruses and HIV, which is why they could be effective in both cases. The molecules in question allow the viruses to replicate, so their elimination could cause the virus to die out in a human host.

Adding interferon-beta to Kaletra could help reduce the severity of COVID-19’s impact on a victim’s lungs. The compound is used in multiple sclerosis treatment for the same reason, and the idea of the combination is to cure the condition while reducing its long-term impact on the body at the same time.

Finally, remdesivir looks to be the most promising medicine in treating COVID-19. Originally developed to fight Ebola, it wasn’t effective enough against that disease. However, a 2017 report in international journal Science Translational Medicine found that it might be able to treat the coronaviruses SARS and MERS.

Looking for a COVID-19 cure
Source: Pixabay

Hopes Pinned on Remdesivir

Scientists are now hoping that remdesivir will be able to combat the novel coronavirus that the world is currently dealing with. While the results of the research with the other drugs will only be ready by May at the earliest, insiders are hoping to report on remdesivir as soon as April this year.

If the medication is effective the company that developed it, Gilead Sciences, would be able to increase their remdesivir production. In this case, getting the drug into the hands of doctors and nurses could save many lives.

A case study from earlier in March 2020 found that a 35-year-old man in the United States did recover after falling ill with COVID-19 and receiving remdesivir. However, much more rigorous trials are required before any definitive conclusions can be drawn. In the meantime, Gilead’s treatment is being given on a compassionate basis to United States patients suffering with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Hundreds of Studies Underway

In addition to the WHO’s SOLIDARITY project, there are about 300 other trials currently seeking effective SARS-CoV-2 treatment. For instance, a study in China has been trialling remdesivir since February 2020. Doctors and other insiders describe the current situation as quite haphazard, but it is hoped that the information will soon become clearer. With that in mind, the research and compassionate treatments roll on. And the basic guidelines we’ve been given still apply. Wash your hands frequently, shelter in place whenever you can, and reach out to your loved ones via the internet and telephone. We’re all in this together and progress is being made – but it will take some time. In the meantime, we need to keep calm and carry on.