Australian researchers recently created a lot of interest in Ivermectin as they found it could zap COVID-19 in vitro. At least some French doctors have come out in support of more testing of the anti-parasitic drug, which they believe could be more effective against COVID-19 than chloroquine. Medincell’s work is funded by a $6.4 M grant from Unitaid. They have now launched a clinical trial to investigate if it can work on COVID-19 in humans. The momentum gains to generate meaningful clinical data.
TrialSite News received great interest after it published a story about Australian researchers’ findings in regards to ivermectin. The topic generated thousands of reads and hundreds of messages to the Salt Lake City, Utah-based clinical trials-focused media and social network venture. Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute and Peter Doherty Institute of Infection and Immunity at Royal Melbourne Hospital published the results of a study revealing that the drug, an approved anti-parasitic available worldwide, may actually treat against SARS-CoV-2—at least when applied to an infected cell culture in a laboratory. The results were very promising as they found after 48 hours the drug was found to have reduced the viral load of the novel coronavirus from 5,000 units to just one unit—representing a reduction of 99.98%.
One of the preclinical researchers, Dr. Kylie Wagstaff from Monash University told a French paper called Le Parisien that “Researchers had the idea to test this that we use against scabies, to see if it could have an effect on the coronavirus.”
Now this got the attention of clinical investigators in Medincell, a French pharmaceutical research venture adjacent to Montpellier. As it turns out, this group had received a $6.4 M grant from Unitaid to test ivermectin as a treatment against malaria. Given the world’s state—a major pandemic and the overlap of interest and drug—the French group got to work. According to David Heuzé, communications director at Medincell, “We now need clinical trials to check the potential of the cure on human beings.”
French Perspective: ‘Why not try it’?
Pragmatically assessing the current crisis, Professor Jean-Paul Stahl, head of the infectious diseases unit at Grenoble CHU hospital, reported to ConnexionFrance, “Ivermectin is an old medicine. Like chloroquine, it is an anti-parasitical drug, but they are not all the same chemical compound.” Professor Stahl continued, “Taking the urgency into account, it would be impossible to create a new drug against COVID-19. This would take at least three years minimum. This drug already exists and is available. So why not ?”
An investigator and professor from the French Académie Nationale de Médecine and infectious disease specialist added in the ConnexionFrance, “Beyond this initial work, we must check and continue to research to see if it works on humans.”
Medincell Position to Date
Medincell reported recently on their website that they have published data revealing that long-acting formulations of Ivermectin can be designed with varying doses and durations with its BEPO® technology and is already landing a program aiming at developing a 3-month injectable product to fight malaria.
Now the French venture has launched a research initiative on a long-acting injectable formulation of Ivermectin and the group believes that it could have a role to play in COVID-19 management. They note that future clinical studies must confirm the action of Ivermectin on the COVID-19 virus, and the potential effectiveness of a long-acting injectable on its prevention and therefore breaking the chain of transmission. Should the results be positive from their clinical study, a BEPO® technology-based long-acting injectable Ivermectin offers a rapidly deployable and affordable solution for a global pandemic.
Medincell is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company that develops a portfolio of long-acting injectable products in various therapeutic areas by combining its proprietary BEPO® technology with active ingredients already known and marketed. Through the controlled and extended release of the active pharmaceutical ingredient, Medincell makes medical treatments more efficient, particularly thanks to improved compliance, i.e. compliance with medical prescriptions, and to a significant reduction in the quantity of medication required as part of a one-off or chronic treatment. The BEPO® technology makes it possible to control and guarantee the regular delivery of a drug at the optimal therapeutic dose for several days, weeks or months starting from the subcutaneous or local injection of a simple deposit of a few millimeters, fully bioresorbable. Based in Montpellier, MedinCell currently employs more than 130 people representing over 25 different nationalities.
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