Treatments for COVID-19: Drugs being tested against the coronavirus
- 2020-04-09 17:21
- By livescience.com
An oral drug called EIDD-2801 has shown promise in test-tube experiments with human lung and airway cells, scientists reported online April 6 in the journal Science Translational Medicine . "EIDD-2801 is an oral drug that could be administered at home, early after diagnosis," lead study author Timothy Sheahan, of the Department of Epidemiology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, said in a statement from the journal. A drug developed by Fujifilm Toyama Chemical in Japan is showing promising outcomes in treating at least mild to moderate cases of COVID-19, Live Science previously reported . "It has a high degree of safety and is clearly effective in treatment," Zhang Xinmin, of China's science and technology ministry, said March 17, The Guardian reported . The authors reported that detectable concentrations of SARS-CoV-2 fell significantly faster in the study participants than coronavirus patients at other French hospitals who did not receive either drug. Additionally, the agency advised that doctors should be cautious when giving either drug to patients with chronic disease, such as kidney failure, and especially those "who are receiving medications that might interact to cause arrhythmias." Five clinical trials in China and the U.S. are currently evaluating whether remdesevir can reduce complications or shorten the disease course in COVID-19 patients, the medical news site STAT reported . George Thompson, an infectious disease specialist at UC Davis Medical Center who treated an early, severe case of COVID-19, told Science magazine that their patient got better after getting the drug, about 36 hours after diagnosis. Instead, they are focusing on approving previously submitted requests and streamlining the process, while directing people to enroll in clinical trials, STAT reported . Complicating things, a paper published March 11 in the journal The Lancet has raised the possibility that common drugs for hypertension, such as ACE inhibitors and so-called angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs), which includes losartan, might actually spur the body to make more ACE2, thereby increasing the ability of the virus to infiltrate cells.