UK government officials have announced that critically ill patients with COVID-19 will soon receive rheumatoid arthritis medication to increase their recovery and chances of survival.
The news comes amid the approval of a third coronavirus vaccine for the UK; The Moderna vaccine will join an arsenal of pre-authorized photos developed by Pfizer / BioNTech and Oxford / AstraZeneca.
In a statement, British officials cited preliminary results from a study published before a peer review based on the government-backed international REMAP-CAP test.
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Tocilizumab and sarilumab, given to seriously ill patients with coronavirus shortly after admission to the intensive care unit, reduced the risk of mortality by 24% and patients recovered up to 1
British officials hope that encouraging national healthcare providers to use tocilizumab, starting on Friday, will bring relief to strained healthcare systems amid an increase in cases of the mutated strain. The drug is now available in hospitals in the UK and staff are working with the drug’s sponsor, Roche, to ensure a continuous supply, according to the statement.
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Health Secretary Matt Hancock said drugs could save hundreds of lives.
“We have worked quickly to ensure that this treatment is available to NHS patients immediately, which means that hundreds of lives will be saved,” Hancock said in a statement. “I am extremely proud of the significant role that our NHS and its patients have played in this international study, and I am grateful to the outstanding scientists and clinicians behind REMAP-CAP who have brought this treatment to our patients.”
In the study, 353 patients received tocilizumab, 48 had sarilumab, and 402 were in the control group. While hospital mortality was 36% in the control group, deaths were reduced by 8% in patients receiving tocilizumab. However, the drug has mixed results, and previously the Italian Medicines Agency found no benefit in terms of intensive care or survival.
Meanwhile, last fall, the drug’s sponsor and Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche said people who received tocilizumab marketed as Actemra / RoActemra were 44% less likely to progress to the extent they would have to rely on. of life support equipment, according to the company’s EMPACTA Phase 3 Study.
The study’s lead author, Prof. Anthony Gordon of Imperial College London, also praised the results.
“This is an important finding that could have immediate consequences for the sickest patients with COVID-19,” he said in a university statement.
These drugs are known as immunomodulators, and California-based lung specialist Dr. Imran Sharif previously described in detail to Fox News how the drugs work in patients with coronavirus.
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The coronavirus enters the body through receptors in the nasal passages and airways, Sharoft explained. Inflammatory mediators, such as Interleukin 6 (IL-6), then stimulate an inflammatory response that causes organ damage. The drug treats coronavirus by blocking receptors and preventing the release of inflammatory mediators.
“I would recommend to my colleagues that once you see a deteriorating patient, rapidly deteriorating clinical condition with a high need for oxygen or ventilator, try to start treatment as soon as possible within the first 12-24 hours,” Sharif said last spring.
Daniela Genovese of Fox Business contributed to this report.