Clinical Trials and Research News Weekly Roundup | Treat COVID-19 Patients Early Antiviral Cocktail?

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Top Doctor at University of Hong Kong Suggests Aggressively Treat COVID-19 Patients Early with Antiviral Cocktail Medications: Hong Kong’s medical community knows something about coronaviruses given its experience with the first SARS 17 years ago and of course the most recent SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. The top pandemic doctor there, Yeun Kowk-Yung from University of Hong Kong, suggests a path forward to keep COVID-19 patients out of intensive care, where the probability of death rises significantly. Stop them from entering in the first place by taking far more proactive measures once an individual is in fact infected with SARS-CoV-2. This top doctor emphasizes early and aggressive hospitalization and treatment in a bid to minimize disease escalation and mortality. His approach may be working as, according to a recent Bloomberg report, the COVID-19 death rate in Hong Kong at 2% is well below the worldwide average.
Reports out of Ireland that Pfizer/BioNTech’s BNT162b2 Very Close to FDA & EMA EUA: Reports out of Ireland suggest that the first COVID-19 vaccine out of the West could be available in Ireland in literally just a matter of weeks. Known as BTN162b2, this mRNA-based vaccine was originally developed by the German biotech known as BioNTech and now is associated with Pfizer as the giant American pharmaceutical company entered into a co-development and commercialization arrangement with the company. Ironically, as TrialSite reported, the Pfizer and BioNTech team didn’t accept U.S. federal money from Operation Warp Speed to subsidize clinical development, yet they appear on track to be first in the vaccine race in the West (e.g. North America, Europe, etc.) as versus the East (China, Russia), the latter of which, have both generated COVID-19 vaccines now in some form of commercial use. In the case of Russia’s Sputnik V, health authorities there “registered” the drug but this was more marketing than anything else as that vaccine and comparable Chinese candidates still must be scrutinized in ongoing Phase 3 trials. Now Pfizer Ireland has revealed to local media that the company could potentially be in the position to receive an emergency use authorization (EUA) within weeks. This would trigger the start of what would be an unprecedented effort to start the distribution process involving 100 million doses of BNT162b2 before the end of 2020. he vaccine candidate has been tested on 35,000 people thus far with no reports of any adverse reactions
India’s ICMR Excludes Ivermectin from National Guidelines for COVID-19: Not Sufficient Evidence via RCTs: Although some Indian states such as Uttar Pradesh allow for the use of Ivermectin off label as a treatment option as well as a prophylaxis for COVID-19, sources recently shared with Indian media that the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)’s National Task Force for COVID-19 and the Joint Monitoring Group recently held a meeting to determine if the drug would be included in the Health Ministry’s Clinical Management Protocol for COVID-19—it will not.
Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research Breakthrough on How to Treat COVID-19 Cytokine Storm: Some patients’ immune systems have responded to SARS-CoV-2 infections by going into a form of overdrive, leading to the overzealous response known as a cytokine storm—a very dangerous situation. When this occurs, the death rate associated with COVID-19 is extremely high. In association with this condition, the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research and Northwell COVID-19 Research Consortium completed a retrospective study of 6,000 patients and the findings lead to somewhat of a potential breakthrough: results point to the most effective immunomodulatory therapies to treat patients with evidence of this cytokine storm and importantly, improve patient survival. Led by Negin Hajizadeh, MD, a pulmonary and critical care physician, and associate professor at the Feinstein Institutes, a multidisciplinary team of investigators analyzed the electronic health records of hospitalized COVID-19 patients across 12 of Northwell Health hospitals – New York State’s largest health system – between March 1 and April 24, 2020. The results were published today in CHEST, by Sonali Narain, MD, assistant professor at the Feinstein Institutes, corresponding author, and team.