It has been almost five months since the COVID-19 virus was declared a pandemic. As 18.5 million and counting have been infected by COVID-19, humanity is still in desperate need of effective treatments. A complete lockdown disrupting life as we know it has been our only option in order to stop the propagation of the virus.
Here are a few efforts that Bioinsider compiled to help understand the current development of effective medical strategies to combat COVID-19:
Treatment of Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs):
An article published in April hypothesized that Neutrophil Extracellular Traps (NETs) may play a vital role in contributing to the damage of organs of the human body. NETs usually help protect the body against infection and large pathogens, but in this exciting study, it is shown that COVID-19 induces NETs to actually damaging the body. More importantly, the study reveals that NETs can be a pharmacological target that could potentially neutralize COVID-19.
Experiments are currently under investigation to directly target NETs with novel drugs. Scientists from PEEL Therapeutics and University of Utah study the connection between NETs and COVID-19 severity and progression. As a result, PEEL Therapeutics is developing first-in-class NET inhibitors as COVID-19 treatment.
Using anti-inflammatory products
Inflammation is a key symptom of people infected and suffering from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Research performed in the United Kingdom has shown that a significant amount of COVID-19-infected people who have recovered, did so through the administration of dexamethasone, an anti-inflammatory.
A recent clinical study from the RECOVERY (Randomized Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) trial, led by scientists from the University of Oxford, enrolled 6425 patients, 2104 people were given dexamethasone, while 4321 people were given standard medical care. The outcome from this study was reported that dexamethasone improves 28-day mortality compared to those were given placebo. This study suggests that an effective, and readily available and affordable drug treatment may provide effective treatment for patients infected with COVID-19 at more a severe stage that require invasive mechanical ventilation or oxygen.
Using blood plasma
There is currently excitement and hope that an effective therapy could come from injecting infected patients with plasma obtained from previously infected, but recovered patients. Plasma from people who have recovered from COVID-19 has shown to have an abundance of neutralizing anti-COVID-19 antibodies. There are several clinical trials currently underway and there is a major push to identify donors who can provide plasma.
Using HIV drugs might be promising
HIV is also a viral disease that has previous plagued the Earth. There are early and promising signs that antiretroviral drugs can have anti-COVID-19 effects. For example, COVID-19-infected people have responded with the anti-retroviral drugs lopinavir and Ritonavir.
More information on the worldwide development of various anti-COVID-19 treatments will be discussed in the Therapeutic Pipeline for COVID-19 Virtual Meeting on September 17, 2020. Be sure to tune in so you are equipped with all the knowledge you need to know.