A study published Wednesday revealed that clinical trials for a new anti-Covid treatment showed that a single dose of it reduces the likelihood of hospitalization in the event of infection with the virus, and the authors hope that the experiments will lead to the granting of a license for the drug.
Although Covid has moved away from the headlines, developing new treatment options remains critical, especially in the face of new variants, said Jeffrey Glenn, professor of immunology at Stanford University and co-author of the study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). ).
The treatment in question uses interferons, which are proteins important in the immune response. They are secreted in the presence of the virus, attach to receptors on specific cells, and then trigger a “natural antiviral defense mechanism” (different from antibodies), Jeffrey Glenn explained.
There are several types of interferons, among them called lambda and its specificity is that it attaches to the cells of the lungs, where Covid spreads.
Treatment consists of injecting a synthetic version of lambda-interferon within seven days of the first symptoms of infection with the virus.
The treatment was tested in clinical trials on more than 1,900 adults with COVID-19 between June 2021 and February 2022 in Brazil and Canada. And about 85% of those included in the experiment are not vaccinated against the virus.
Glenn stresses that this single-dose treatment has a practical advantage over the antiviral drug “Paxlovid” manufactured by Pfizer, which requires taking dozens of pills over five days.
Also, some treatments as well as vaccines have gradually lost their effectiveness in the face of new mutants, but since interferon interacts with cells, they will not be affected by the virus mutation.
According to Egger Biopharmaceuticals, which previously published these findings in a press release, the FDA did not respond to an emergency authorization request for the drug.
But Jeffrey Glenn said, “I hope this study helps encourage regulators here and around the world to find a way to get (this treatment) to patients as quickly as possible.”
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