CategoryTreatment

Groundbreaking COVID-19 Treatment Found In Unexpected Cancer Drug

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An unexpected COVID-19 drug derived from a rare sea animal and historically used to treat cancer is found to be 27.5 times more effective than the Gilead Sciences’ popular coronavirus drug remdesivir, a study published in the journal Science on Monday revealed.

The treatment, known as Aplidin or Plitidepsin, is developed by the Spanish drug company PharmaMar. It has clinical approval in some countries, such as Australia, for treating multiple myeloma, a form of bone marrow cancer. The drug was identified as a potential COVID-19 treatment in March 2020 by a team of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco. Since then, it has completed phase 1 and phase 2 clinical trials and is expected to enter a phase 3 trial before seeking regulatory approval.

https://observer.com/2021/01/aplidin-covid-drug-cancer-treatment/

New ‘life-saving’ treatment can reduce risk of death by 24%, government announces

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Drugs typically used to treat rheumatoid arthritis are now set to be given to COVID patients in intensive care with the hope they could save hundreds of lives.

Results from a government-funded clinical trial, published on Thursday, showed using the drugs reduced the relative risk of death by 24%, when administered to patients within 24 hours of entering intensive care.

It was revealed that tocilizumab and sarilumab can also reduce the time spent in hospital by up to 10 days for COVID patients.

Most of the data came from when the drugs were used in addition to a corticosteroid, such as dexamethasone, which has previously been found to be an effective treatment for severely-ill coronavirus patients.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock hailed “yet another landmark development” in the fight against COVID-19, with it hoped the roll-out of the new treatments will help reduce the current severe pressures on hospitals.

The government and the NHS will issue new guidance on Friday across the UK to encourage hospitals to immediately use tocilizumab in their treatment of COVID-19 patients admitted to intensive care units.

https://news.sky.com/story/covid-19-new-life-saving-treatment-can-reduce-risk-of-death-by-24-government-announces-12181646

Anthony Fauci Says Joe Biden Will Hit Target To Vaccinate 100m People in First 100 Days

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Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease specialist, has told Newsweek he believes President-elect Joe Biden will fulfill his promise to get 100 million COVID vaccines administered in his first 100 days in office. His forecast comes amid a slower than expected vaccine roll-out in the U.S.

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and incoming chief medical advisor to the Biden administration, said: “I think that’s possible, it’s very possible to do that. I think you’ve got to be careful about judging the long-range by what’s happened in the first couple of weeks.”

Operation Warp Speed, the White House’s effort to develop and distribute COVID treatments and vaccines, aims to deliver 300 million COVID vaccine doses. After the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized the use of COVID vaccines by Pfizer and Moderna last December, Health Secretary Alex Azar said the Trump administration hoped to vaccinate 20 million people by the end of December 2020, then 50 million by the end of January.

As of Tuesday, 17 million doses had been distributed and 4.8 million people had received their first dose, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). That amounts to more than 70 percent of doses currently going unused.

https://www.newsweek.com/anthony-fauci-joe-biden-hit-target-vaccinate-100m-people-first-100-days-1559282

Oxford man, 82, first in world to get Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid vaccine

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An 82-year-old retired maintenance manager has become the first person in the world outside clinical trials to receive the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca.

Brian Pinker, a dialysis patient, received the jab at 7.30am on Monday from Sam Foster, a nurse at Oxford University hospitals NHS foundation trust’s Churchill hospital.

Pinker, who describes himself as Oxford born and bred, said in a statement issued by NHS England that the jab would give him peace of mind as he continued to receive treatment, and he was looking forward to celebrating his 48th wedding anniversary in February.

“I am so pleased to be getting the Covid vaccine today and really proud that it is one that was invented in Oxford,” he said. “The nurses, doctors and staff today have all been brilliant and I can now really look forward to celebrating my 48th wedding anniversary with my wife, Shirley, later this year.”

Foster said: “It was a real privilege to be able to deliver the first Oxford vaccine at the Churchill hospital here in Oxford, just a few hundred metres from where it was developed.

“We look forward to vaccinating many more patients and health and care staff with the Oxford vaccine in the coming weeks, which will make a huge difference to people living in the communities we serve and the staff who care for them in our hospitals.”

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jan/04/brian-pinker-is-first-to-get-oxfordastrazeneca-covid-19-vaccineHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Cancer treatment gives terminally ill mother all clear

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A terminally ill cancer patient has been given the all-clear after becoming the first woman in Wales to be given a pioneering treatment.

Helen Wynne Hughes, 32, was given CAR-T treatment that uses the body’s own cells to fight cancer.

The mother-of-three, from Denbighshire, had the therapy earlier this year after other treatments failed.

“When the doctor said it was clear… we were in tears. Finally, there was no cancer at all,” she said.

Whatever Covid restrictions may be in place this Christmas, it is set to be special for the Hughes family.

It is a world away from a year ago when Helen was making memory boxes for her three young children – Aled, four, Tomos, two, and 19-month-old Beca.

“I had to tell them ‘perhaps it is mummy’s last Christmas’,” she recalled.

“They are so small, it was very hard. Making memory boxes, looking back thinking I might not get to do things with them again.”

It was Christmas Eve 2018 when she was told scans had revealed a mass on her chest “the size of a grapefruit”.

She had felt unwell during her third pregnancy, only to be diagnosed with lymphoma.

“I was allowed to go home on Christmas Day to see the children open their presents and have lunch,” she recalled.

“But I only managed two hours as I was so ill.”

Helen, from Ruthin, started chemotherapy almost immediately and 10 weeks later, she gave birth to her “bundle of joy” Beca.

However last autumn she was given the devastating news that the cancer was unresponsive and had spread to her bones, liver, lungs.

“I was told to prepare my children for the worst,” she said.

Early this year, Helen was offered a glimmer of hope when she was told she qualified for the new Chimeric Antigen Receptors Cell Therapy (CAR-T) treatment that had just been approved by the NHS.

“CAR-T was the last hope for me. I’d do anything,” she said.

The family then faced an agonising six-month wait to learn whether the treatment had worked.

Last week she was finally given the news she had craved, that the cancer “had all gone”.

“I was prepared for the worst but luckily CAR-T has saved my life,” she said.

“I feel quite proud being the first female from Wales to have the treatment and hopefully many more after me will be allowed to have the treatment.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-55320004HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Britain could be free of lockdowns by February

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Britain could be free of tight Covid restrictions by the end of February, after Ministers pinpointed the 15 million people who would need vaccinations to end the cycles of crippling lockdowns.

With the ‘game-changing’ Oxford jab expected to be approved within days, the Government hopes that enough doses will soon be available to inoculate those most vulnerable to coronavirus within weeks.

Writing in today’s Mail on Sunday, Chancellor Rishi Sunak says the Covid breakthroughs – combined with the newly minted post-Brexit trade deal with the EU – signalled an optimistic new era for the UK.

Government sources say that between 12 million and 15 million people have been identified as likely to require hospital treatment if they contract coronavirus, or be at risk of dying from it. Once this group has received the vaccine – which some officials hope could be achieved by the end of February – then the NHS would no longer be at risk of being overwhelmed if the virus spread through the greater population. That would remove the main argument for shutting the economy at a stroke.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9089575/Britain-free-lockdowns-February-Oxfords-Covid-vaccine.htmlHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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UK scientists trial drug to prevent infection that leads to Covid

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British scientists are trialling a new drug that could prevent someone who has been exposed to coronavirus from going on to develop the disease Covid-19, which experts say could save many lives.

The antibody therapy would confer instant immunity against the disease and could be given as an emergency treatment to hospital inpatients and care home residents to help contain outbreaks.

People living in households where someone has caught Covid could be injected with the drug to ensure they do not become infected too. It could also be given to university students, among whom the virus has spread rapidly because they live, study and socialise together.

Dr Catherine Houlihan, a virologist at University College London Hospitals NHS trust (UCLH) who is leading a study called Storm Chaser into the drug, said: “If we can prove that this treatment works and prevent people who are exposed to the virus going on to develop Covid-19, it would be an exciting addition to the arsenal of weapons being developed to fight this dreadful virus.,”

The drug has been developed by UCLH and AstraZeneca, the pharmaceutical company that has also, along with Oxford University, created a vaccine that the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency is expected to approve for use in Britain next week.

The team hope the trial shows that the cocktail of antibodies protects against Covid-19 for between six and 12 months. Trial participants are receiving it as two doses, one after the other. If it is approved, it would be offered to someone who has been exposed to Covid in the previous eight days.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/dec/25/uk-scientists-trial-drug-to-prevent-coronavirus-infection-leading-to-diseaseHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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UK scientists identify drugs that may help severe cases

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Scientists have identified a collection of drugs with the potential to benefit tens of thousands of patients who are admitted to intensive care with life-threatening coronavirus infections.

The breakthrough emerged from a major study of critically ill patients that revealed a suite of genes involved in antiviral defences and lung inflammation that leave people at greater risk of developing severe Covid disease.

The team, led by Edinburgh University researchers, spotted five genes that raised the risk of severe illness, pointing them towards a handful of drugs that are expected to help susceptible patients. The medicines will now be prioritised for clinical trials.

The analysis revealed key differences in five genes, named IFNAR2, TYK2, OAS1, DPP9 and CCR2, which partially explained why the sick patients became critically ill. Having identified the troublesome genes, the team was able to predict what drug treatments were likely to help.

“This is a wonderful breakthrough, really, in understanding what causes the severe disease,” said Peter Openshaw, a professor of experimental medicine at Imperial College London and a co-author on the study.

The findings have been shared with groups around the world who are running clinical trials to assess whether drugs that are already in use for other conditions can help save patients with severe Covid-19 disease. Those include the World Health Organization’s Solidarity trial, Oxford University’s Recovery trial and an international trial named Remap-Cap.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/dec/11/coronavirus-uk-scientists-identify-drugs-that-may-help-severe-casesHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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Lilly and UnitedHealth launch trial of COVID-19 antibody

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Drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co and insurer UnitedHealth Group on Friday said they have partnered to conduct a study of Lilly’s COVID-19 antibody treatment bamlanivimab in high-risk Medicare patients.

The Food and Drug Administration last month authorized emergency use of bamlanivimab for treating non-hospitalized COVID-19 patients who are at risk of becoming severely ill, either because they are over the age of 65 or because they have underlying health conditions such as diabetes.

UnitedHealth is inviting members of its Medicare Advantage program to volunteer for the study. Study participants who indicate they have symptoms of COVID-19 and test positive will be administered bamlanivimab, which is given by intravenous infusion, by a nurse sent to their home.

By treating people as early as possible in the course of illness, the study aims to determine if Lilly’s drug reduces the severity of COVID-19, UnitedHealth’s chief scientific officer, Ken Ehlert, said on a conference call.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-lilly-unitedhealth/lilly-and-unitedhealth-launch-trial-of-covid-19-antibody-idUSKBN28E1Q7HELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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COVID-19 fatality rate down 30% since April, study finds

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The likelihood that a coronavirus infection will prove fatal has dropped by nearly a third since April due to improved treatment, researchers at the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) said on Thursday.

In the United States, COVID-19 now kills about 0.6% of people infected with the virus, compared with around 0.9% early in the pandemic, IHME Director Dr. Christopher Murray told Reuters.

He said statistics reflect that doctors have figured out better ways to care for patients, including the use of blood thinners and oxygen support. Effective treatments, such as the generic steroid dexamethasone, have also been identified.

Experts have struggled to accurately measure a crucial metric in the pandemic: the fatality rate, or percentage of people infected with the pathogen who are likely to die. The difficulty is exacerbated by the fact that many people who become infected do not experience symptoms and are never identified.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-fatality-idUSKBN27S39DHELP US SPREAD GOOD NEWS!

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