Early novel coronavirus drug trials yield mixed results

Early novel coronavirus drug trials yield mixed results

Early novel coronavirus drug trials yield mixed results

A potential coronavirus treatment has failed in a randomized clinical trial in China.

Doctors have started using anti-HIV drug combinations Lopinavir and Ritonavir for the first time in the country in the treatment of a COVID-19 patient in Kerala, a day after the Union Health Ministry recommended such a course on a case-to-case basis.

According to a new study in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), the treatment with the combination of lopinavir-ritonavir was not very effective.

The team concluded that "lopinavir-ritonavir treatment did not significantly accelerate clinical improvement, reduce mortality, or diminish throat viral RNA detectability in patients with serious COVID-19".

They noted that further trials are necessary "to confirm or exclude the possibility of a treatment benefit".

The test "was a heroic effort", Dr. Lindsey Baden and Dr. Eric J. Rubin, editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, said in a Journal editorial. "Health care workers in Hubei province have provided patient care in an overwhelming epidemic while they themselves are one of the highest risk groups for development of disease".

NASCAR drivers to compete in iRacing event
Sports Business Journal's, Adam Stern, reported NASCAR will have a live race broadcasted on FS1 on Sunday starting at 1:30 p.m. NASCAR drivers will compete in virtual NASCAR Cup Series cars on the iRacing simulation platform.

Israel approved the licensing of a generic version of an HIV drug to treat patients infected with the coronavirus on Thursday, despite doubts about its effectiveness in trials.

Johnson & Johnson has been testing a similar HIV drug, known as a protease inhibitor, against the novel coronavirus.

A total of 199 patients with laboratory-confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection underwent randomization, with 99 people assigned to the lopinavir-ritonavir group.

"It is however, crucial to initiate the treatment before patient develops features of severe illnesses", reads the article "Lopinavir/ritonavir combination therapy among symptomatic coronavirus disease 2019 patients in India: Protocol for restricted public health emergency use".

While the study's main goal was to test to see if Kaletra could speed up the time to clinical improvement, researchers tracked a range of other metrics that may show some benefit.

However, doctors noted those who saw improvements after receiving the drugs did so within 12 days of COVID-19 symptoms appearing.

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