Guest Blog The Ambulance At The Top of The Hill – Preventative Risk Reduction.

By Mr Murka

According to health experts, the pipeline of drugs will play a crucial role in India’s fight against the novel coronavirus. They argue that Covid-19 vaccines would only provide immunity against severe disease or death. However, one can always catch an infection and could develop complications or long term side-effects from the disease”. Additionally, some people may not be able to generate an immune response despite taking vaccine shots. Others vulnerable groups such as the elderly, immunocompromised patients or those for whom vaccine jabs are not recommended are also at risk. Experts believe that covering 100 percent of the population with vaccines is highly improbable and having a treatment for coronavirus is “very important”.

“These first generation vaccines do not provide sterilising immunity as efficiently. They prevent severe infections. It means that some of those who are vaccinated may still get ill with mild disease, leading to other complications or causing long Covid,” said Dr Raman Gangakhedkar, former scientist at ICMR, adding that we are still learning more about long-term side-effects of Covid.

“Moreover, vaccine non-response is also seen in some people. Additionally, 100 percent vaccine coverage is a utopian goal. Therefore, there will always be some who are vulnerable to infection,” said Dr Gangakhedkar, an epidemiologist, who was the fa e of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) during government briefings on Covid-19 last year. The top scientist also urged preparedness for a scenario wherein a mutant strain immune to vaccine starts evolving and spreading. “The level of investment and interest in research and development of Covid-19 therapies has been lower than it should have been. One of the biggest risks in clinical trials on COVID-19 therapies is that once cases come down, many companies may not see a big market for further research and trials. That would be a mistake,” he said. Experts believe that the virus SARS CoV2 would stay with humanity and would keep causing Covid-19 at a relatively low rate.

“The results of the clinical study showed that viral load in mild, moderate, or asymptomatic patients after being given two doses of Umifenovir (800mg) twice a day, became zero in an average of five days. Patients did not experience any side effects and their symptoms also did not turn severe,” said the director. Studies conducted by CDRI in collaboration with CSIR-Institute of Microbial Technology (IMT), Chandigarh, showed that Umifenovir exhibits good cell culture inhibition of SARS-Cov2, suggesting that the drug inhibited the entry of SARS-Cov2 virus into human cells, Prof Kundu said.

Of 1180 patients with positive RT-PCRs and positive chest CT scans, 101 patients were finally included in the trial; 50 were assigned to receive IFNβ1a + hydroxychloroquine + lopinavir/ritonavir group and 51 were managed to treat with IFNβ1a + hydroxychloroquine + lopinavir/ritonavir + umifenovir Conclusions: Our findings shed new lights on the facts that additional umifenovir has not been found to be effective in shortening the duration of SARS-CoV-2 in severe patients and improving the prognosis in non-ICU patients and mortality

(Ed – So combination medication not always advised as better)
To date, there are no approved, selective coronavirus antivirals to treat or prevent infections. Even those vaccinated may not all be protected against infection and disease, in particular following infection with variants that are less susceptible to the current vaccines. Antivirals against SARS-CoV-2 will, at least when given early enough after a positive test or after onset of symptoms, reduce the chance to progress to (more) severe disease. In addition, such antiviral drugs will be useful to protect for example healthcare workers and high-risk patients in a prophylactic setting. Such drugs are also needed for the treatment of immunodeficient patients who do not mount a (sufficiently robust) immune response following vaccination. Since the de novo development and approval of (a) specific, highly potent antiviral(s) for SARS-CoV-2 may require years, the main focus for COVID-19 treatment in the current pandemic is to repurpose drugs that have been approved or in clinical trials for other diseases

Treatment with Molnupiravir (150 mg/kg BID) alone resulted in 1.9 (P<0.0001) and 1.3 (P=0.0002) log10/mg reduction in viral RNA and infectious virus loads respectively (Fig. 1B/C).

The combined treatment resulted in a reduction of 2.7 log10 of lung viral RNA titers (Fig. 1B), but interestingly, in a markedly enhanced reduction in infectious virus titers (>4.5 log10 TCID50 per mg lung, P=0.02, P=0.0005 as compared to Molnupiravir and Favipiravir alone, respectively) (Fig. 1C)

(Ed – But certain combinations are highly effective).

One comment

  1. I’ve been digging around on this here and there. I think treatment is the way forward but still concerned with the big pharma take on it.

    Sure as eggs there’s this wee gem tucked away

    “However, Steinberg warns, we might need to watch out for one long-term effect. Since it works by introducing genetic mutations into the viral RNA, it’s possible that the drug could introduce mutations into our own DNA as well. This could lead to babies being born with birth defects. “We’ve seen it with some antivirals. We’ve seen it with other drugs,” she says.”

    As they say it’s nothing new that birth defects may occur. I can see people flipping their lids over this.

    It is concerning on that count, and that because of it the vaccine agenda will continue to be pushed, even if adverse effects, waning efficacy etc are more widely discussed.

    I also found an article that calls out the encouraging data on ivermectin as being fraudulent.

    Interesting but having trouble bending my head around why India is doing so well with such low vax rates, unless their trials of molnupiravir were bigger than their use of ivermectin.

    Further to that it seems the Merck-Ridgeback Biotheraputics partnership is fairly evenly rivaled by the Roche-Atea deal, which may have investors on the edge of their seat and as such lots of good press for when one is approved for use.

    It has also been pointed out that Mercks patent for ivermectin has lapsed and that their Molnupiravar costs $700 (US?) gor a course of 40 pills over five days.

    Kohekohe, Manuka, and particularly Tataramoa (Bush Lawyer) all work to remedy coughs, the later also relieving sore throat and easing congestion in the chest. I’m no doctor so don’t take my advice, but I wonder why we don’t have teams in NZ looking into remedies utilising our local resources.

    From all the reading that’s coming in over the last few days the best thing is what’s been said all along, wash your hands, good diet and exercise, etc


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