Hope for an effective anti-Covid drug resurfaces

Subsequent to the race for vaccines, the search for treatments against Covid-19 has become essential with the arrival of the Delta variant. To see the concern of the most advanced countries in terms of vaccination, as evidenced by Israel, which has brought the vaccination pass up to date and is planning a third injection of vaccine, because of an outbreak of cases, the complementary treatments to serums would clearly not be too much.

Precisely, authorizations will be granted to drugs in a few weeks, or at the latest, by the end of the year. These treatments “which already exist” according to Jean-François Delfraissy, President of the French Scientific Council, have two advantages: On the one hand, they would be effective for high-risk patients and on the other hand, they should reduce the number of patients. hospitalizations A real godsend in these times when the effectiveness of vaccines is undermined by the Delta variant As proof, it is now accepted that two doses of vaccine will not be enough to protect the most vulnerable.

Moreover, like several countries (United States, Germany, Israel), in France, the High Authority for Health (HAS) has also said in favor of a third injection for people over 65 years and people with co-morbidities.

If in the past, some treatments were controversial before being dismissed with a bang, chloroquine being the perfect example, others are carriers of hope. These include treatments based on monoclonal antibodies. To put it simply, these antibodies are selected for their effectiveness in targeting an intruder. A therapeutic approach praised on the Old Continent. To the point of benefiting from the first European marketing authorizations (AMM) this autumn. The treatment developed by AstraZeneca, with encouraging results, is expected to benefit. But not only.

To date, three new treatments against Covid are already recommended by the World Health Organization. In this case, tocilizumab, sarilumab and dexamethasone, a corticosteroid for which the European Medicines Agency and the WHO have authorized its use for a year, especially for people on respiratory assistance. In contrast, sarilumab and tocilizumab are monoclonal antibodies produced by Sanofi. They are able to mimic the way the immune system fights Covid.

In addition to these treatments, we could also mention MesenCure, a drug that we owe to the Israeli biotechnology company BioGroup. Described as very promising by the scientific community, this treatment has obtained 100% success after a first clinical trial. Trial which involved ten patients with Covid, all in a situation of respiratory distress. Nine of them suffered from significant comorbidities. However, 9 of the 10 patients recovered and left the hospital 24 hours after the end of treatment. Granted, the 10th person lost his life, but due to an infection other than Covid, according to lead investigator, Palestinian Dr Shadi Hamoud.

In short, the promise of an effective anti-Covid treatment is no longer a utopia. It turned into a more than credible hypothesis, especially in the case of treatments based on monoclonal antibodies which would “reduce the risk of death by 13% compared to standard treatments. This equates to 15 fewer deaths per thousand patients ”, assures the World Health Organization in a press release. And that’s not all. These treatments could also find favor in the eyes of those who refuse the injection and thus kill two birds with one stone.

Chady Chaabi


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