A Principal Investigator from McMaster University in Ontario leads a large international clinical trial testing drugs targeting COVID-19 including ivermectin, metformin and fluvoxamine. With a growing number of studies indicating the potential efficacy of ivermectin, as well as some evidence that fluvoxamine shows promise, this large study could potentially take the evidence to the next level of credibility. The results of this study could be available within just a few months. The study is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as FastGrants.
Led by Edward Mills, the Together COVID-19 Trial involves the McMaster research team as well as partners including Cardresearch and the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais in Brazil and the University of Stellenbosch of South Africa.
Ivermectin Gains Momentum
The growing evidence becomes difficult to ignore–and with Bill and Melinda Gates putting money into study the inexpensive drug costing less than $5 per treatment and which is on the list of World Health Organization essential medicines shows growing interest. TrialSite has chronicled ivermectin studies all over the world and organizations, such as the Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) to generate meta-analyses of the dozens of underlying studies. A number of researchers and physicians now treat patients already in the United States with ivermectin while fluvoxamine also gains more attention thanks to research out of Washington University School of Medicine St. Louis.
That ivermectin generates greater interest is despite campaigns with false and misleading information, such as the recent press release by Merck denying any evidence whatsoever. TrialSite posited that Merck had no choice as they spent over $400 million to acquire a novel therapeutics company and shortly thereafter received $356 million from the U.S. government for COVID-19 experimentation. The economic incentives out in the market preclude low cost, generic approaches to treating the condition alongside vaccination and more advanced, novel therapeutics.
The Together COVID-19 Trial involves participation in Canada, South Africa and Brazil (with several study sites here) and are premised on the fact that as the pandemic continues to rage and billions spent by agencies such as U.S. Health and Human Services there are still limited effective pharmaceutical interventions and the reality is that mass vaccinations are a long way off especially in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). There is an urgent need for treatments and evidence emerges that common, economical drugs such as ivermectin and fluvoxamine demonstrate efficacy against the coronavirus.
Principal Investigator Point of View
Dr. Edward Mill was on the record, “The need for treatments in early disease is paramount. Evidence is quickly emerging that suggests a number of drugs may have promising effects on reducing COVID-19 disease severity in patients with mild to moderate disease.” Dr. Mills continued, “Our study has been designed to rapidly recruit patients to evaluate these potential therapeutics.”
The study is funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and by Fastgrants, a collaboration of technology philanthropists.
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