An Alternative to Remdesivir? Stanford Investigators Launch Peginterferon Lambda-1a Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Patients

An Alternative to Remdesivir Stanford Investigators Launch Peginterferon Lambda-1a Clinical Trial for COVID-19 Patients

Stanford Medical Center launched a clinical trial using a drug called interferon-lambda, a repurposed compound already tested against viruses that cause hepatitis. The investigators have set up a special tent and will administer one dose of the investigational product under the skin, reports investigator Upinder Singh, MD.

The Drug

Stanford reports that interferons are a group of cytokines that have antiviral activity. For example, interferon lambda is a type III interferon which primarily works on epithelial cells in the respiratory tract where SARS-CoV-2 replicates. Unlike other types of interferons, interferon lambda inhibits viral replication without being pro-inflammatory and does not trigger cytokine storm. An ideal dynamic for treating COVID-19, as most severe damage to patients comes from the inflammatory effects.

According to investigator Dr. Singh, interferon essentially helps the body’s natural immune system into action and has evidenced positive effects on influenza and earlier instances of SARS. As reported by ABC 7 News in the Bay Area, Dr. Singh commented, “This compound was not made for COVID-19, but because we know that it’s safe, it’s easy to give, it ha...

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