The current article just briefs about the promising therapies which hold the key for finding vaccination against nCov-19. WHO has identified four promising therapies for global trials in the hunt to find a cure for this global epidemic. Indian Government has announced its eagerness to participate in the World Health Organization's drug trial in an attempt to find a cure for COVID-19 . It is not only a global viral disease but it is turning out to be a human disaster affecting all human activities right from social lockdown to financial crisis in every corner of the globe. WHO has already declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on 30 January 2020. According to sources, COVID-19 has affected masses of 210 countries infecting more than 25 lakhs and killing over 1.79 lakh of people around the globe. The hunt for finding a cure has interested not only pharmaceutical companies but also political leaders and researchers all around the globe. As per sources, very little is known about the virus which causative agent for COVID-19. Being a new virus, it took some time for WHO to name it as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Its activities on how it affects the human host are still a mystery for researchers throughout the world. There are four global therapies identified by WHO which are listed below: 1. An experimental antiviral molecule is known as Remidesivir 2. Anti-malarial medicines - Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine 3. Combination of two anti-HIV drugs - Lopinavir and Ritonavir 4. Lopinavir and Ritonavir with interferon-beta The criteria used for identifying the above treatments are the highest likelihood of working; availability of safety data from previous use and availability of supplies in sufficient quantity to treat a large number of patients if found effective. Remdesivir is an anti-viral compound developed by American biotech companies to combat Ebola. It works by inhibiting a key enzyme RNA polymerase and thus inhibits virus replication. It was tested against the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo but showed no effects. Test tube and animal studies that the drug can inhibit coronaviruses which cause SARS and MERS. It has shown to reduce virus infection in lung tissue of mice infected with MERS coronavirus, improve lung function, and diminish pathological damage to lung tissue. The company has initiated clinical trials to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir in the diagnosis of COVID-19 The trails are being performed on 761 patients in a randomized, placebo-controlled, and double-blind study in multiple hospitals in Wuhan. The results of the trials are expected to be available soon.
Anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have received substantial attention after the US president announced their effectiveness on national television. FDA has not approved but the US government has started accepting donations of these medicines. These drugs have shown broad anti-viral activities against SARS-COV-2 infection but it calls for high doses which could be highly toxic. In a clinical trial conducted in China, patients suffering from nCovid showed a drop in fever, and recovery time is shortened. It showed better results against dengue and chikungunya in vitro studies but there had been no clinical trials. Hydroxychloroquine is useful in rheumatoid arthritis, showed to cut down the virus load in nasal swab in a study conducted in France. It has several side effects and may have a detrimental effect on the heart. Lopinavir and Ritonavir dose combination is used to treat HIV in combination with other drugs to treat adults and children above 14 years of age. Clinical and in vitro studies have shown its potency against COVID-19 infection. The first trial at a Chinese hospital involving 199 patients did not show inspiring results. No major differences were noticed between patients taking this combination and the ones who received standard care. Available capsule dosage forms 200 mg/50 mg for oral administration and harms the liver. Lopinavir and Ritonavir with interferon-beta, a combination of these drugs are now being tested in MERS patients in Saudi Arabia. It has a molecule that is involved in regulating inflammation in the body. "If given late in the disease could lead to worsening tissue damage" as per expert opinion. In addition to WHO's initiative, the SOLIDARITY trial, many other compounds are being tested at different parts of the globe in search of a drug against COVID-19. In comparison with conventional clinical trials, the SOLIDARITY trail has easy patient enrolment with the least documentation at the doctor's patient. The physician needs to enter the patient's data including comorbidities into the WHO website. Based on the availability of drugs in treating hospitals, the website decides one of the available four options to be given to the patient. The treating physician requires obtaining consent form and sending it to the WHO electronically; and recording details like duration of hospital stay, whether the patient required oxygen or ventilator on the day of discharge or death of the patient. The government has approved Lopinavir/Ritonavir, a fixed-dose combination of anti-viral drugs for restricted public health use among COVID-19 patients. Plasma Therapy It is an experimental procedure for COVID-19 patients. In this treatment, plasma from a COVID-19 patient who has recovered from the disease is transfused into another patient who is in critical condition. This therapy works on the idea that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using convalescent plasma. This therapy uses antibodies from the blood of a recovered coronavirus patient to treat another patient who is in critical condition. The recovered COVID-19 patient's blood develops antibodies that are infused in another patient to fight against COVID-19 . Indian Council of Medical Research has recently allowed states to start clinical trials of plasma therapy. Nearly 100 institutes have shown interest to study how safe and efficient plasma therapy is in treating COVID-19. Several states like Kerala, Gujarat, and Punjab have already started to use plasma therapy for COVID-19 patients. Source: https://www.livemint.com/