TrialSite originally introduced the Israeli-based Sheba Medical Center’s ivermectin research led by tropic disease expert Prof. Eli Schwarz back in June 2020. And just the other day, TrialSite reported on a video interview describing the positive benefits associated with this relatively small but important randomized controlled and blinded study. Now The Jerusalem Post, considered mainstream media in that nation, has come out and showcased the study results in a seemingly objective interview led by journalist Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman. This article puts forth the position from Prof. Schwartz, founder of the Center for Travel Medicine and Tropical Disease situated at the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer, that the existing generic, FDA-approved drug used commonly as a antiparasitic agent actually can reduce the duration of infection associated with SARS-CoV-2, the virus behind COVID-19.
TrialSite recently showcased this study and its results—still unpublished—according to the testimony of Prof. Schwartz. In an email communication, the Israeli tropical disease expert thanked TrialSite for an invitation to present his findings on the Podcast show and expressed that he was still working on getting the results published.
The Jerusalem Post now reports that based on the unpublished data, he declared the generic drug could help “cure” people with the virus within six days. He shared the findings with Ms. Hoffman that those on the ivermectin-based regimen were three times less likely to test positive for COVID than the placebo. Of course, Schwartz like many physicians understands that the great majority of COVID-19 cases are mild and that a safe, economical, and easily administered therapy is needed for this class of population to help support treatment while vaccinations and other measures are taken. He told Ms. Hoffman, “From a public-health point of view, the majority of patients with corona are mild cases, and 90% of these people are isolated outside of the hospital.” He continued for Ms. Hoffman: “If you have any kind of drug that can shorten the duration of the infectiousness of these patients, that would be dramatic, as then they will not infect others.”
The findings indicate other implications for public health policy and strategy during this pandemic while mass vaccinations are also implemented. If those that are infected are in fact treated with ivermectin and the study results hold true, then the minimum 10 day isolation period could be reduced, which could have profound societal and economic impact.
And what about the massive populations in the developing world? Huge segments of the population in African won’t have fast easy access to vaccines anytime soon. That’s why major studies such as ANTICOV have been initiated, or for that matter the Bill and Melinda Gates funded The Together COVID-19 Trial study in not only Canada but also South America and importantly Brazil. Although, some scientists have sent TrialSite notes of concern about why this latter study only includes one dose of ivermectin. Paranoia during the pandemic is real all the way around. Meanwhile, billions have recently been allocated into monoclonal antibody and other pharmaceutical engineered investigational products to augment vaccination in the battle against COVID-19.
Presenting to Health Authorities
Ms. Hoffman of The Jerusalem Times also reports that Prof. Schwartz will now undertake the effort to prepare data in such a format that he can submit to peer review journals for publication. Interestingly, he is already planning on a meeting with Israel’s Health Ministry on Monday and will also apparently share the findings with the U.S. FDA.
Call to Action: Dr. Schwartz told TrialSite in November that he was having a tough time finding sufficient numbers of patients and generally there wasn’t huge support for him and this study. But he managed to pull it off and produced these results. TrialSite commends Dr. Schwartz for completing this study and contributing yet more important data toward the goal of introducing cost effective, safe options to help treat COVID-19. There are no cures, but government agencies have allocated billions to pharma companies to develop monoclonal antibody and other therapies to augment vaccination efforts. Low cost options are needed as well.