The 19 patients who received an experimental drug called Remdesivir recovered quickly, with most going home within days after the media received a video of a conversation about the study. Only two patients perished. Patients enrolled in a clinical trial of the drug suffered severe respiratory symptoms and fever. Still, they were able to leave the hospital within less than a week of treatment, according to a new report from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Only two of our patients died, “Dr. Robert L. Schindler, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago who led the clinical trials, said in the video.
We only had two patients who died, he said in the video, which was leaked to STAT News. “Patients who took part in a clinical trial of the drug suffered fever and severe respiratory illnesses but were able to leave the hospital within a week of treatment” he noted. As of now, there is no approved therapy for COVID-19, which can cause severe side effects in some patients, such as vomiting, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.
The university said it could not comment further until the official results of the study are available. The FDA also announced that a clinical trial of COVID-19 would be conducted in patients with severe respiratory disease in the United States during ongoing clinical trials. The decision opens up the possibility that hospitals across the country could soon begin treating their sick patients with plasma transfusions.
In an unusual move, the Food and Drug Administration announced last week that it has allowed doctors to try an experimental treatment of COVID-19 patients with plasma from people who have the disease and are recovering. With no drugs or vaccines approved for COVID 19 and thousands of US cases increasing every day, doctors are trying to revive the lives of people with the rare and deadly form of lung cancer by transfusing antibodies into patients who are recovering or seriously ill.
The idea is that the so-called convalescence plasma contains antibodies to the virus that allow the donor to recover from the disease and should, therefore, help patients who are ill. The approach has already been tested in other conditions, but there is no evidence that it works in people infected with the coronavirus. In the past, convalescent blood plasma was used to treat outbreaks of polio, measles, and mumps before vaccines became available.
“Such transfusions give sick patients a respite until their bodies can fight off the infection”, said Dr. Michael O’Brien, a professor of infectious diseases at the University of California at San Diego and co-author of the study.
He said the children’s hospital accepted the first donation of plasma from a recovering COVID-19 patient on March 31 and has since received contributions from 10 recovering patients. Once the recovering patients have donated plasma, it will be given to the still ill patients to help them fight infection and recover hopefully, he said.
A potential coronavirus treatment called remdesivir entered clinical trials last year, the first patient to be treated with the experimental antiviral drug. The procedure is experimental and allows the use of blood transfusions instead of the usual intravenous treatment of antibiotics.
The company that owns remdesivir, Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD), has not released official data from the ongoing study, we recently received an unofficial preview that was anything but encouraging.
Preliminary research from Germany suggests that Remdesivir works just as well or better in patients with mild symptoms than placebo, but it does not look good for those who first became ill. A paper describing the results of a study by the University of California, San Diego Medical Center, is circulating even before the official peer review and is less optimistic than preliminary research in Germany suggests. The study, published last week in The Lancet medical journal, found that only about a third of high-risk patients survived the virus, is far from optimistic. Patients without mild symptoms had a lower risk, the study authors said.
Infected with the coronavirus generally means that a person is immune to repeated infections, at least for some time. The news comes as a study of five patients in China that supports the development of Remdesivir in patients with a range of symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Fox News had previously reported that patients between the ages of 36 and 65, including two women, received an experimental plasma transfusion containing a neutralizing antibody. Three of the five patients were taken off the ventilator within two weeks of treatment, and four had acute respiratory problems resolved within 12 days of receiving the plasma transfers. The convalescent plasma was taken to a hospital in Shenzhen, China, where they were admitted for acute bronchitis, respiratory infections, and other respiratory diseases.