COVID-19 News

WHO’s Solidarity clinical trial enters a new phase with three new candidate drugs

Solidarity PLUS trial for promising drugs will roll out in 52 countries, an unprecedented global collaboration for COVID-19 R&D New Delhi, 11th August 2021: The World Health Organization (WHO) has announced the next phase in its Solidarity trial: Solidarity PLUS will enrol hospitalized patients to test three new drugs in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. These therapies were selected by an independent expert panel These therapies – artesunate, imatinib and infliximab – were selected by an independent expert panel for their potential in reducing the risk of death in hospitalized COVID-19 patients. They are already used for other indications: artesunate is used for severe malaria, imatinib for certain cancers, and infliximab for diseases of the immune system such as Crohn’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis. These drugs were donated for the trial by their manufacturers. “Finding more effective and accessible therapeutics for COVID-19 patients remains a critical need, and WHO is proud to lead this global effort,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “I would like to thank the participating governments, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, clinicians and patients, who have come together to do this in true global solidarity.” What is the Solidarity PLUS trial? The Solidarity PLUS trial is a platform trial that represents the largest global collaboration among the WHO Member States. It involves thousands of researchers in over 600 hospitals in 52 countries, 16 more countries than the first phase of trials. This allows the trial to assess multiple treatments at the same time using a single protocol, recruiting thousands of patients to generate robust estimates on the effect a drug may have on mortality–even moderate effects. It also allows new treatments to be added and ineffective treatments to be dropped throughout the course of the trial. Previously, four drugs were evaluated by the trial. The results showed that remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir and interferon had little or no effect on hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Through the Solidarity PLUS trial, researchers across the world have an opportunity to use their expertise and resources to contribute to global COVID-19 research. About the drugs Learn About the Artesunate Produced by Ipca, is used…

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Credit NIAID NIH

Ashwagandha takes lead in IIT-Delhi study to be COVID-19 warrior

New Delhi, May 19 (Umashankar Mishra ): Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir, Ritonavir, APN01 or Favilavir are being tested in clinical trials across the globe. No therapy has been found to be effective against COVID-19 as of now. However, natural compounds from Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) and Propolis could be potential drug candidates against COVID-19. It is revealed in a collaborative study of DAILAB at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan. DAILAB is an international laboratory formed out of the collaboration between the Department of Biotechnology (DBT) and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan. The acronym DAILAB stands for DBT-AIST International Laboratory for Advanced Biomedicine. DAILAB has been working on natural compounds from Ashwagandha and Propolis for the past several years. It has explored the possibility of some of their bio-actives to interact with severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoronaVirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). This study has just been accepted for publication in the Journal of Biomolecular Structure and Dynamics. The researchers targeted the main SARS-CoV-2 enzyme for splitting proteins, known as the Main protease (Mpro). Mpro plays a key role in mediating viral replication. This is an attractive drug target for this virus, and as humans don’t naturally have this enzyme, compounds that target Mpro are likely to have low toxicity. They discovered that a natural compound Withanone (Wi-N) derived from Ashwagandha and Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester (CAPE), an active ingredient of New Zealand Propolis, has the potential to interact with and block the activity of Mpro. Researchers have also studied the capability of these bio-actives to modulate the protein on the surface of human cells, to which SARS-CoV-2 binds and allows its entry into our cell – the transmembrane protease serine 2 (TMPRSS2), and selected Withanone. The study is currently under review and is expected to be published shortly. These findings may not only connect to save time and cost required for screening anti-COVID-19 drugs, but also offer some preventive and therapeutic value for the management of fatal COVID-19 pandemic, and hence warrant prioritized validation in the laboratory and clinical…

Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell showing morphological signs of apoptosis, infected with SARS-COV-2 virus particles (green), isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland. Credit: NIAID/NIH

NIH clinical trial testing antiviral remdesivir plus anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib for COVID-19 begins

New Delhi, 11th May 2020. A randomized, controlled clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of a treatment regimen of the investigational antiviral remdesivir plus the anti-inflammatory drug baricitinib for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun. The trial is now enrolling hospitalized adults with COVID-19 in the United States. The trial is expected to open at approximately 100 U.S. and international sites. Investigators currently anticipate enrolling more than 1,000 participants. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is sponsoring the trial. The clinical trial is the next iteration of NIAID’s Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT), which began on Feb. 21 to evaluate remdesivir, an investigational broad-spectrum antiviral treatment developed by Gilead Sciences, Inc. That trial closed to enrollment on April 19 after recruiting 1,063 participants at 47 U.S. and 21 international sites. An independent data and safety monitoring board (DSMB) overseeing the trial met on April 27 and shared their preliminary analysis with the study sponsor, NIAID. Their analysis showed that patients who received remdesivir had a statistically significant shorter time to recovery compared to patients who received placebo. More detailed information about the trial results, including more comprehensive data, will be available in a forthcoming report. In this next trial with baricitinib, called ACTT 2, all participants will receive remdesivir or remdesivir with baricitinib. “We now have solid data showing that remdesivir diminishes to a modest degree the time to recovery for people hospitalized with COVID-19,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “ACTT 2 will examine if adding an anti-inflammatory agent to the remdesivir regimen can provide additional benefit for patients, including improving mortality outcomes.” What is Baricitinib ? Baricitinib, a product licensed to Eli Lilly and Company by Incyte and marketed under the brand name Olumiant, is approved in the U.S. and in more than 65 additional countries as a treatment for adults with moderately to severely active rheumatoid arthritis. Some people with COVID-19 experience acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in which inflammation of the lungs leads to shortness of breath and rapid breathing. What are benefits of baricitinib…

World Health Organization

WHO delivers more medicines to Islamic Republic of Iran for COVID-19 “Solidarity” clinical trial

Tehran, 3 May 2020 — The World Health Organization (WHO) has delivered additional medicines to the Islamic Republic of Iran for its participation in the Solidarity Trial, a global effort to find an effective treatment for COVID-19. The Solidarity Trial is a large, international study designed to discover which treatments for COVID-19 are the most effective. It provides simplified procedures for hospitals even with a very high number of patients. More than 100 countries from all parts of the world are participating. Two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean Region, including Islamic Republic of Iran, are taking part in the trial. Drugs Four re-purposed medicines – Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, Interferon (β1a), and hydroxychloroquine – are being evaluated. “The Solidarity Trial will be conducted in 16 provinces in 29 major hospitals that have substantial numbers of inpatient admissions for COVID,” says Dr Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Islamic Republic of Iran. Islamic Republic of Iran has been hard-hit by the COVID-19 crisis, with a total number of 97 424 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 6203 deaths, reported as of 3 May 2020; 78 422 recovered patients have been discharged from hospitals across the country. The shipment of medicines is part of WHO’s many deliveries of essential medical supplies to help Islamic Republic of Iran cope with the crisis. The shipment also included another 100 000 laboratory tests for COVID-19. WHO had previously shipped other clinical trial medicines, Lopinavir and Ritonavir, to Islamic Republic of Iran on 23 March. [email protected] delivers additional medicines to the Islamic Republic of #Iran for its participation in the Solidarity Trial, a global effort to find an effective treatment for #COVID19. — WHO EMRO (@WHOEMRO) May 3, 2020 Math models of disease dynamics continue to mature with tech and data. But with critical data sparse at early stages of #COVID19 pandemic, models should not be used to predict future numbers but to compare outcomes of different scenarios. Daily update⬇️ — WHO EMRO (@WHOEMRO) May 3, 2020