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Covid-19: There are more than 300 treatments under study or under trial

More than 300 treatments for covid-19 are being studied or tested in people around the world, including antivirals, anti-inflammatories and convalescent blood plasma, announced the international federation representing the pharmaceutical industry.
In a statement, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) said that 22 pharmacists are involved in 81 clinical trials of drugs - new or old - for covid-19, such as antivirals, anti-inflammatories, blood plasma of recovered patients and monoclonal antibodies (antibodies produced in the laboratory).
IFPMA promoted, from its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, a videoconference on advances in therapy against covid-19, a respiratory disease caused by a new virus that became pandemic, with the participation of the leaders of some of the major pharmaceutical multinationals such as Pfizer, Roche, Gilead Sciences and MSD.

Used several drugs used for other pathologies
For IFPMA director general Thomas Cueni, “there will hardly be a magic formula for everyone against covid-19”, but this should not be an “excuse” for not diligently approving “new treatments or vaccines”.
To date, there is no specific treatment for covid-19, only medication directed at symptoms, signs and secondary infections triggered by the disease.
Pending a drug targeting the disease, drugs that have been designed to combat other pathologies have been used experimentally, while its efficacy and safety in wider clinical trials have been demonstrated.
The treatments for covid-19 that are being tested vary depending on their performance in the body (whether they have a direct action on the virus or on the immune system) and the potential benefits for different groups of patients, according to their condition. gravity.
A study concluded that the anti-inflammatory dexamethasone, authorized in Portugal since the 1960s, reduces the risk of death in ventilated patients.
On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended the use of corticosteroids (which have an anti-inflammatory action) in the treatment of patients with severe covid-19.
The antiviral remdesivir, developed by Gilead Sciences to fight infections caused by the Ebola virus and the MERS coronavirus, has helped, according to some studies, in the recovery of hospitalized patients with covid-19. Its conditioned use in Europe was approved in July.
Portugal is part of a large-scale clinical trial promoted by WHO for the therapeutic use of remdesivir in covid-19.
The experimental oral antiviral 'MK-4482' - designed by the pharmaceutical company MSD to attack the influenza virus, but which has shown to have an action against the replication of SARS-CoV-2, at the origin of covid-19 - begins to be tested this month in treatment of hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients.
Experimentally used to treat Ebola infection, the flu-like flu favipiravir, developed in Japan, is also being tested for covid-19 in several countries.
In contrast, the antivirals lopinavir and ritonavir, used to treat HIV / AIDS, were tested in patients with covid-19, but they did not bring significant benefits: they did not reduce the death of hospitalized patients and caused serious undesirable effects on the kidneys. WHO has abandoned clinical trials with these drugs.

The antimalarials chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, which have shown to be apparently promising for the new coronavirus in laboratory tests, ultimately pose risks for patients with covid-19.
In view of doubts about its efficacy and safety, WHO has suspended clinical trials with hydroxychloroquine and several countries, such as France, Italy and Belgium, have discontinued their therapeutic use in patients infected with SARS-CoV-2. Portugal recommended its suspension.
The immunomodulating drug tocilizumab, manufactured by the Roche laboratory and indicated for patients with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease, caused little noticeable improvement in patients with severe covid-19, with associated pneumonia. The drugmaker hopes to increase its benefits in infection with the new coronavirus when combined with the antiviral remdesivir.
Several pharmaceutical companies are testing monoclonal antibodies that neutralize SARS-CoV-2.
The protein 'interferon beta-1a', produced naturally by the body to regulate the functioning of cells and administered to patients with multiple sclerosis, is also being tested due to the positive effects that are pointed out in the treatment of the most severe cases of covid-19 .
The treatment, also experimental, with blood plasma of recovered patients has been applied to other patients, in very specific and serious situations, in which the body's defenses (immune system) are very weak, but it is not without risks, such as intolerance , according to experts.
Pharmaceutical companies have teamed up to develop a potential therapy based on blood plasma (which also contains neutralizing antibodies) for covid-19.
The Polish biotechnology company Biomed announced in August the launch of the first phase of production of an experimental medicine against covid-19 based on blood plasma from miners who recovered from respiratory disease.
The drug will begin testing in late October at several hospitals.
In a first phase, the company Biomed will have the capacity to manufacture about 3,000 doses of the experimental injectable medicine, which ensures that it can be administered to any patient, whatever their blood group.
In May, the Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplantation announced the start of the collection of blood plasma from recovered patients for clinical trials.
Antibiotics have been administered to fight opportunistic infections caused by bacteria.

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