In the following lines, Dr. John Wright, Bradford Royal Hospital in Britain, talks about some ongoing experiences in order to find a treatment for Covid-19, suggesting that the solution may lie in a mixture of three different types of drugs.
We are currently participating in 8 different clinical trials in the hospital, aiming to reach a treatment.
We are part of a massive international effort. There is a feeling that the light of science around the world has become concentrated in a laser beam directed at this virus that is hardly seen by the naked eye.
The “Recovery” experience is the largest experience we are currently participating in. It already includes more than 10,000 patients across the country who are taking a placebo or one of a number of other medicines.
Last week, we signed up with the first patient in Britain to conduct a small trial aimed at testing whether the new drug, created by AstraZeneca, was safe and effective. This is one of several small trials – collectively referred to as the “Accord” trial – that aim to evaluate more drugs that can be added to the “Recover” trial.
We hope that the drug, “AstraZeneca”, which does not have a name yet, will calm the overreaction of the immune system, which is dangerous and occurs in a small percentage of patients, and leads to shock and stop the work of vital organs, such as the lungs, heart, blood vessels and kidneys.
This overreaction is referred to as a “cytokine storm.” Cytokines are molecules that indicate an infection that the body must combat. In the new experiment, the drug inhibits a cytokine molecule called IL-33 or (interleukin-33).
Mark Winterter, who volunteered to test the anti-interleukin drug, had arrived at the hospital with symptoms initially thought to be caused by gallstones. After he was diagnosed with Covid-19, we realized this was the possible cause of the problem. (Covid-19 has many symptoms, but this condition is unusual) and Mark says he’s used to volunteer work. Volunteering as a photographer in an enemy race, he met famous British runner Mo Farah.
I think reaching a Covid-19 vaccine will not be a year from now, so these trials to find a cure for the disease are extremely important.
Doctors are looking forward to a time, soon, when a person with early symptoms of the disease can go to the laboratory, take a test to discover the infection, and quickly get the test result and a prescription that includes a mixture of effective medications, before the symptoms worsen and his health worsens.
This combination likely includes an antiviral drug, an immunosuppressant drug, and an anti-inflammatory drug.
Among the antivirals that are currently being tested, one that may help prevent the corona virus from attaching to the lining of the lungs, and another drug that may help prevent its reproduction in the body.
Immunosuppressive drugs can also help stop the overreactive immune response to the virus, known as the cytokine storm.
Anti-inflammatory drugs include stimulants, such as dexamethasone, which has been at the forefront of drugs that have been included in the “recovery” trial.
- Corona virus: what are its symptoms and how to protect yourself from it?
- Corona Virus: What are the chances of dying from infection?
- Corona Virus: Are women and children less likely to get sick?
- Corona virus: how few people spread viruses?
The chances of finding just one medication for Covid-19 will decrease. In the past, through the use of a group of drugs, we were able to defeat tuberculosis (with a mixture of antibiotics) and HIV (with a set of antiretrovirals). I expect this to be the means by which this disease can also be overcome.
Dinesh Saralaya, respiratory consultant at Bradford Royal Hospital, is optimistic about reaching a combination treatment before the end of the summer.
“I think we will create at least two or three drugs that completely eliminate the need for these patients to be hospitalized,” she says.
“You will go to the laboratory and prescribe medications for you once you are diagnosed with the disease. According to the strategies currently used, if you are infected with the Coronavirus, you isolate yourself, it gets worse, your temperature rises, then you begin to suffer from difficulty breathing, then you are transferred to the hospital. But patients must get On medicines very early. ”
One of our consultants decided to participate in another experiment, as an antibody donor.
Debbie Horner was infected with the Corona virus at a very early stage of the outbreak, and recovered quickly. And when a public call was made two weeks ago to hire people like her who had recovered from the disease, to donate blood plasma, she immediately agreed.
The researchers want to know if the blood plasma rich in antibodies taken from people who had COFED-19 would help other patients fight the disease. This work is also part of the “recovery” experience.
Researchers discovered that patients most likely to have high levels of antibody were men over 35 years old, whose disease necessitated hospitalization.
The blood and transplant department of the British Health Insurance Authority is keen to use donors who have recovered from Covid-19, who are either male, are over 35 years old, or have had severe illness that requires hospitalization.
Deby’s condition was mild, so her blood plasma might not be as rich in antibodies as the staff wanted. Generally the results have not been announced yet, and if the results prove that her blood plasma is required, Debbie will be happy to donate.
“It is a little different from taking (a sample of) blood normally. They take part of the blood – the plasma part – and then they return to you all the red blood cells and other unwanted blood parts (in the test),” she says.
Debbie added that the donor feels a bit dry, noting that drinking some cups of tea will fix this.
It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the value of blood plasma transfusions in general, says Mike Murphy, professor of blood transfusion medicine at Oxford University. He notes that in late 2000 plasma was collected to see how it can be used to treat Ebola and influenza patients.
“When we had a sufficient number of recovering donors from the infection who could donate, the peak of infection had passed, and then there was no opportunity to test the benefit of the recovered plasma. (But) the Covid-19 pandemic is clearly different.”