Study Rules Out Possible Anti-Covid Benefits From Interferon, Colchicine
A study reported in CIDRAP notes clinical trials found no link between a combination of interferon beta-1a, remdesivir and colchicine, and reduced deaths or risk of hospital treatments from covid infections. Separately, a potential antiviral anti-covid pill from Atea Pharmaceuticals also failed.
Trials Find No Benefit Of Interferon, Colchicine In COVID Hospital Patients
New clinical trials detail the failure of two COVID-19 treatments—a combination of interferon beta-1a and remdesivir and the drug colchicine—to reduce death by 28 days, length of hospital stay, or risk of requiring invasive mechanical ventilation or dying in hospitalized adults. Both trials were published yesterday in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine. (Van Beusekom, 10/19)
Atea’s Antiviral Pill Fails To Clear Covid-19, Forcing A Re-Think
Atea Pharmaceuticals said Tuesday that its antiviral pill for Covid-19 failed to combat the virus in a mid-stage trial, leading the company to delay its pivotal study by a year. The disappointing news follows a far more hopeful October update from Merck, whose similar antiviral reduced the chances that patients newly diagnosed with Covid-19 would be hospitalized by about 50% in a Phase 3 study. (Garde and Herper, 10/19)
The Washington Post:
Rep. Andy Harris, A Doctor, Says He’s Prescribed Ivermectin As A Covid-19 Treatment
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.), a practicing anesthesiologist, said he has prescribed ivermectin, a medication typically used to treat parasites in livestock and humans, as a covid-19 treatment, and he lashed out at pharmacies for not making the drug readily available, according to a recent radio interview. Harris made the comments during a call-in radio program that he and his wife, Nicole, co-hosted last month on WCBM, an AM radio station in the Baltimore area. (Wiggins and Flynn, 10/19)
The Washington Post:
What Is Molnupiravir, Merck’s Covid-19 Treatment Pill?
Molnupiravir is an antiviral pill by pharmaceutical giant Merck that aims to prevent mild to moderate cases of covid-19 from becoming severe cases that result in hospitalization or death. People who have covid-19 take the drug twice a day for five days, starting within five days of the onset of symptoms. It was shown in an international clinical trial of 775 high-risk, unvaccinated people to cut the risk of hospitalization and death in half (the participants had at least one risk factor for severe covid-19, such as obesity or advanced age). (Pietsch, 10/18)
In related news —
New CMS Rule Could Hold Up Organ Supply Amid Rising Demand
Lawmakers are worried a new CMS rule aimed at holding organ procurement organizations accountable for the first time will come too late for many Americans. A growing number of Americans are in need of a heart, lung or kidney transplant, many due to COVID-related factors, which experts say may overwhelm the transplant system. (Fernandez, 10/20)