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UK begins trial of drug that could prevent severe illness from COVID-19 by 80%

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 COVID-19 Drug and Vaccine Candidates in  Development
COVID-19

As a result of the threats posed by the emergence of the corona virus pandemic, and with the series of deaths recorded globally, many countries all over the world are desperately in search for unharmful, alternative and genuine measures to tackle the problem once and for all, or at least to minimize the social hazards and curb the negative effects caused by the virus.

Just recently the United Kingdom began a large-scale trial of a new treatment for COVID-19 that could prevent patients from developing severe illness.

According to reports the treatment involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta or SNG001 which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.

Interferon beta is inhaled directly into the lungs of patients with COVID-19 using a nebuliser, with the aim of reducing viral load and stimulating an immune response. The new treatment is hoped to stimulate the immune system, priming cells to be ready to fight off viruses.

It is also important to note that Interferon beta is commonly used by medical doctors in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

News reports also revealed that the drug was developed at Southampton University Hospital and is being produced by Synairgen, a Southampton-based biotech company.

Moreso, a particular 34-year-old lady by name Alexandra Constantin, who was admitted to the hospital with COVID-19, happened to be the first person to receive the treatment as part of the new trial at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday January 12th 2021 .It was also revealed that a course of treatment with the new drug could cost around £2,000.

“To be viable it will have to represent good value for money,” The BBC quoted Richard Marsden, Synairgen’s chief executive, to have said.

Phase two clinical trial of the treatment was conducted last year and results suggested that the chances of a COVID-19 patient in hospital getting severe disease — for instance, requiring ventilation — were reduced by almost 80 percent.

The study showed that hospitalised COVID-19 patients on nebulised interferon beta recovered quicker and that the drug is safe.

According to Synairgen, the result also suggested that patients were two to three times more likely to recover to the point where everyday activities were not compromised by their illness.

It also said the trial indicated “very significant” reductions in breathlessness among patients who received the treatment.

This news comes as a very pleasant and welcomed development especially for citizens and residents in the UK, putting in mind the number of infections, death scare, and tolls recorded so far.

Moreso activities are gradually being put on hold, thus businesses, religious educational entertainment and other social gatherings are either being cancelled, or restricted with covid-19 regulations within the country.

The world at large is obviously in a state of emergency and it is very important that all resources, information and scientific technologies with regards to finding a possible and permanent curative measure on the covid-19 pandemic be shared by world leaders, scientists and medical professionals in a bid to help in combating this virus which has and it’s still killing so many and ravaged major world economies.

 

Gift Joseph Okpakorese

Staff Writer

 

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