Bangladesh’s International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research (ICDDR) works to improve public health problems facing low-and middle-income countries (LMICs) via innovative scientific research, such as research into low-cost, generic, FDA-approved drugs like ivermectin. Back in June, the ICDDR initiated a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial led by Principal Investigator Dr. Wasif Ali Khan targeting 72 hospitalized patients in Dhaka. Patients were allocated into one of three groups, including 1) oral ivermectin solo (12 mg once daily for five days); 2) oral ivermectin in combination with doxycycline (12 mg once daily for five days and 200 mg doxycycline on day 1, followed by 100 mg every 12 hours for the following 4 days) and 3) a placebo group. The ICDDR team discovered that although clinical symptoms of fever, cough and sore throat were comparable, virological clearance duration was compressed in the 5-day ivermectin treatment arm when compared to placebo. ICDDR recorded no adverse events and found the 4-day course of ivermectin as a safe and effective treatment for those patients with mild COVID-19. The ICDDR does acknowledge that larger clinical trials are in order to confirm these present findings.
Disclosed during the summer, this clinical trial (NCT04407130) sought to further investigate the benefit of what is known in Bangladesh as “the People’s Medicine” in the midst of this global pandemic. TrialSite has tracked research in Bangladesh, which in many ways has been a leader in working to better understand this seemingly safe and apparently effective drug at least for mild onset COVID-19 early on.
Containing three (3) arms, this study’s primary endpoints included 1) Virological Clearance, 2) Remission of Fever, and 3) Remission of Cough. It unfortunately wasn’t large enough and not designed to look at any impact on mortality rate.
As was published recently in the International Journal of Infectious Diseases, the team reported that virological clearance was faster among those patients in the five-day ivermectin treatment arm as compared to those in the placebo arm (9.7 days vs. 12.7 days; p = 0.02) but interestingly this wasn’t so for the arm involving ivermectin and the antibiotic doxycycline (11.5 days; p = 0.27). The team concludes that the five-day course was effective and safe with no adverse events. For more details, follow the source to the actual peer-reviewed results in the journal.
About International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research
Based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the ICDDR is committed to solving health problems faced by low-and middle-income countries via innovative scientific research, including laboratory-based clinical, epidemiological and health systems research.
Lead Research/Investigator (corresponding)
Dr. Wasif Ali Khan, International Center for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Dr. Khan established a clinical trials unit at ICDDR, Bangladesh, and has extensive experience in running randomized, controlled trials in infectious disease.
Call to Action: This was obviously not a large trial but well designed and does appear to contribute to mounting positive data points for the generic drug at least for early onset, mild COVID-19 as a sort of antiviral treatment. Check out the study results.