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« Coronavirus cure hope as Italian man, 79, recovers after taking experimental Ebola drug – but a promising HIV medicine FAILS trial in major blow for scientists
Remdesivir was developed 10 years ago as a potential Ebola treatment
It was shelved but has potential as a general antiviral medication, experts say
Experimental use in the US has found it speeds up recovery time for COVID-19
HIV drug Kaletra had high hopes for it but makes no difference, a study said
Coronavirus symptoms: what are they and should you see a doctor?
By Stephen Matthews Health Editor For Mailonline and Sam Blanchard Senior Health Reporter For Mailonline
Published: 11:52 GMT, 19 March 2020 | Updated: 14:49 GMT, 19 March 2020
Coronavirus cure hopes have today been raised after an infected Italian man in his 70s recovered with the help of an experimental Ebola drug.
Doctors gave the unidentified 79-year-old remdesivir, which researchers around the world have tested in their desperate scramble to find a cure.
Officials in Liguria – the coastal region where the patient lives, which is south of Milan – announced he had recovered and could go home after 12 days in hospital.
The drug also showed success in a critically-ill woman in the US and 14 Americans who tested positive for the coronavirus after catching it on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.
It comes after scientists hunting a cure for COVID-19 were dealt a blow by a failed trial of another promising drug – one used to treat HIV patients.
Virologists described the results of the study on lopinavir–ritonavir, a combination which is branded as Kaletra and Aluvia, as ‘disappointing’.
Professor Jonathan Ball, of the University of Nottingham, said: ‘Other irons in the fire, so fingers crossed on one or more of those.’
Medscape 18 mars
« Could the old generic malaria drug hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil, Sanofi-Aventis, among others), which is also used for the treatment of rheumatic disease, be an essential treatment for COVID-19?
This hypothesis, put forward by some, including Professor Didier Raoult of the IHU Méditerranée Infection in Marseille, was dismissed by other eminent infectious disease specialists and dismissed as fake news recently by the Ministry of Health.
Yet it resurfaced yesterday with the presentation on YouTube by Prof Raoult of positive results in a non-randomised, unblinded trial of 24 patients.
This follows encouraging in vitro results obtained by a Chinese team led by Xueting Yao, from Peking University Third Hospital, Beijing, China, which were published online by the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases on March 9th. However, the data were deemed insufficient by the infection community to recommend the compound as a treatment.
Moreover, chloroquine is not listed among the four treatments studied as part of the recently launched European clinical trial piloted by Inserm, which includes 3200 severe hospitalised patients, including 800 French patients.
Chloroquine was ruled out due to the risk of interactions with other medications for common comorbidities in infected patients, and because of possible adverse effects in patients undergoing resuscitation.
The Marseille Study
The European Union Clinical Trials Register shows that the Marseille study was accepted on 5th March by the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM). It could include up to 25 COVID-19 positive patients, comprising five aged 12–17 years, 10 aged 18–64 years, and 10 more aged 65 years or over.
While the data have not yet been published, and should therefore be interpreted with caution, this non-randomised, unblinded study showed a strong reduction in viral load with hydroxychloroquine.
After 6 days, the percentage of patients testing positive for COVID-19 who received hydroxychloroquine fell to 25% versus 90% for those who did not receive the treatment (a group of untreated COVID-19 patients from Nice and Avignon).
In addition, comparing untreated patients, those receiving hydroxychloroquine and those given hydroxychloroquine plus the antibiotic azithromycin, the results showed there was « a spectacular reduction in the number of positive cases » with the combination therapy, said Prof Raoult.
At 6 days, among patients given combination therapy, the percentage of cases still carrying SRAS-CoV-2 was no more than 5%.
Azithromycin was added because it is known to be effective against complications from bacterial lung disease but also because it has been shown to be effective in the laboratory against a large number of viruses, the infectious disease specialist explained. »
Commentaire du Dr. Gregory Mynko dans Medscape
1 day ago
« NOW I know why people swear Z-packs help them get over colds:
« Azithromycin was added because it is known to be effective against complications from bacterial lung disease but also because it has been shown to be effective in the laboratory against a large number of viruses, the infectious disease specialist explained. »
Autre extrait de Medscape particulièrement intéressant
Dr. Zarni Htway
28 minutes ago
Is it a coincidence that corona virus infections occur less in malaria-endemic countries in Asia and Africa? Is there a role of chloroquine, which people living there might have used before?