(KHN) – A day after a positive test for COVID-19 in June, Miranda Kelly was terribly unwell. At age 44, with diabetes and high blood pressure, Kelly, a certified nursing assistant, had difficulty breathing – symptoms severe enough to send her to the ER.
When her husband, Joe, 46, caught the virus, she was especially worried about her five teenage children who were at home: “I thought: ‘I believe in God we do not end up with respirators. We have children. Who’s going to raise these children?”
But Kellis, who lives in Seattle, agreed to attend a medical examination at the nearby Fred Hatch Cancer Research Center after the diagnosis. International effort To test an antiviral treatment that can stop covit in the early stages.
The next day, the couple took four pills, twice a day. Although they were not told if they had received an active drug or placebo, within a week, they said their symptoms had improved. Within two weeks, they were healed.
“I don’t know if we got treatment, but it looks like we did,” Miranda Kelly said. “To get all of these basic conditions, I felt the recovery was very fast.”
Kellis plays a role in developing what the world’s next chance to stop covid: a short-term regimen of daily pills that can fight the virus at an early stage after diagnosis and prevent symptoms after exposure.
“Oral antivirals not only reduce the duration of Govit-19 syndrome, but also have the ability to control the spread of the disease to people at home if you are unwell,” said Timothy Sheehan, a virologist at the University of North Carolina. Who helped promote these therapies.
Antivirals are already essential treatments for other viral infections such as hepatitis C and HIV. One well-known is Tamiflu, a widely prescribed pill that can reduce the duration of the flu and reduce the risk of hospitalization if given too quickly.
Drugs developed to treat and prevent viral infections in humans and animals work differently depending on the type. But they can be designed to boost the immune system to fight infection, blocking receptors so viruses can not enter healthy cells or reduce the amount of active virus in the body.
At least three promising antivirals against Govit-19 are being tested in clinical trials, said Carl Tiffenbaugh, director of the National Allergy and Infectious Diseases Division, which oversees the outcome, which is expected in late fall or winter. Development of antivirals.
“I think we will have answers about the effectiveness of these pills in the coming months,” Defenbaugh said.
The main competitor is Merck & Co., a drug called Ridgeback Biotechrotics Molnupravir, said Diffenbach. This is a product that will be tested at the Kellys Trial in Seattle. The other two are PF-07321332, and a Pfizer candidate called AT-527, an antiviral manufactured by Roche and Atea Pharmaceuticals.
These viruses act by interfering with the ability of the virus to replicate in human cells. In the case of molluscum contagiosum, the enzyme that copies the virus’s genetic material is forced to make a number of mistakes that the virus cannot reproduce. It reduces the patient’s viral load, shortens the time of infection and prevents the immune system from becoming dangerous, leading to serious illness or death.
Until now, Only one antiviral drug is approved, Remedicivir, to treat Govit-19. But it is given intravenously to sick patients to the extent that they are admitted to the hospital, and it is not for initial and widespread use. Instead, the best competitors to be read will be marketed in tablet form.
Sheehan did preliminary work on remtacivir, a First study in mice This shows that molluscum contagiosum can be prevented by the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes colt-19. The formula was invented at Emory University and later purchased by Ridgeback and Merkel.
Followed clinical trials including them First article Molnupravir infection with 202 participants last spring showed a rapid decrease in virus levels. Merck CEO Robert Davis said this month that the company expects data from its major Phase 3 trials in the coming weeks, with the possibility of applying for emergency utilization approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (FDA) “By the end of the year.”
Pfizer a Integrated Phase 2 and 3 testing of your product on September 1st, And said Atea were responsible Wait for the results Phase 2 and 3 tests later this year.
If the results are positive and any product is given emergency use, Tiffanyback said, “Delivery can begin quickly.”
A pill that can be taken for five to ten days at the first confirmation of Govit-19 infection means that millions of Americans will soon have access to daily oral medication.
“When we do, that’s the idea,” said Dr. John H. Snyder, an infectious disease and immunologist at Columbia University. Said Daniel Griffin. “It’s nationwide, so people get it the same day they are diagnosed.”
Oral antiviral drugs for the treatment of corona virus infection, which was previously marginalized due to lack of interest, are now subject to stiff competition and funding. In June, Biden management announced that it had agreed to receive about 1.7 million molnupravir treatments from Merck, if the product received emergency approval or full approval, at a cost of $ 1.2 billion. In the same month, the administration He said he would invest $ 3.2 billion In the antiviral program for infection, it aims to develop antiviral drugs for the Govt crisis and others, Tiffenbaugh said.
The epidemic began a long-forgotten effort to develop a powerful antiviral treatment against corona viruses, Shehan said. Although the original SARS virus gave scientists a scare in 2003, it was followed in 2012 by research efforts on Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, which declined with little diligence on those outbreaks.
“The business drive to create any product is forgotten,” Sheehan said.
Widely available antiviral drugs will join monoclonal antibody therapy, which has already been used to treat acute illness caused by Govit-19 and hospitalization. Monoclonal antibodies produced in the laboratory mimic the body’s natural response to infection, are easy to develop, but should be administered primarily by intravenous infusion.
The federal government covers the price of most monoclonal products at $ 2,000 per dollar. It is still too early to know how the price of antivirals can be compared.
Griffin said that just like monoclonal antibodies, antiviral pills are not an alternative to the vaccine. They will still be a tool to fight against Govt-19. “It’s better to be the other way around,” he said.
One of the challenges of rapid antiviral drug development is to recruit a sufficient number of participants for clinical trials, each of which should involve hundreds, says Dr. Elizabeth Duke, Associate Fred Hatch Research.
Participants were not vaccinated and had to join the trial within five days of being tested positive by Govt. On any given day, inmates make 100 calls to people who have tested positive for COVID in the Seattle area, most say no.
“In general, there is a lot of distrust in the scientific process,” Duke said. “And some people say very bad things to prisoners.”
If antiviral pills are effective, the next challenge is to establish a distribution system that will take them to the population once they have tested positive. Griffin said it would take something like this Project established last year Through United Healthcare, Tamiflu sent kits to 200,000 at-risk patients enrolled in the Insurer’s Medicare Advantage plans.
Merck managers The company predicts It could generate more than 10 million treatments by the end of the year. Atea and Pfizer have not released similar estimates.
Still hopeful? Studies evaluating whether viruses can prevent infection after exposure.
“Think about it,” Duke said, and he also oversees a precautionary investigation. “You can give it to everyone in a house or to everyone in a school. So we’re talking about going back to a normal life.”
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