Therapies used to COVID-19

Posted by beauty33 on March 21st, 2020


With the continuous progress of the COVID-19 epidemic, more and more research institutions and biopharmaceutical companies around the world have joined the development team of new vaccines and therapeutic drugs. According to data, nearly 50 antibody and innovative therapy projects are in progress. And more and more companies are joining in. Based on this, we made a list of latest developments in COVID-19.

  1. IL-6 receptor inhibitor

In some patients who are infected with the novel coronavirus, the body's immune system is over-activated due to the invasion of the virus and other reasons, leading to an immune response called a cytokine storm. This excessive immune response releases large amounts of pro-inflammatory cytokines, causing severe lung damage and can endanger patients' lives. Therefore, suppressing the excessive immune response in critically ill patients with "cytokine storm" is one of the key strategies to save patients' lives.

A few days ago, the "New Coronary Virus Pneumonia Diagnosis and Treatment Program (Trial Version 7)" issued by the National Health and Health Committee of China supplemented immunotherapy for severe and critically ill patients. The diagnosis and treatment plan pointed out that for "people with extensive lung disease and severe patients, and laboratory testing of elevated IL-6 levels", tocilizumab can be used for treatment.

IL-6 is a pro-inflammatory cytokine, and its release can trigger a series of downstream pro-inflammatory reactions. A research team from the University of Science and Technology recently found that in some patients with severe COVID-19, the increase in IL-6 levels is important to the occurrence of a "cytokine storm".

Tocilizumab is an IL-6 receptor inhibitor developed by Roche. It was approved by the FDA in 2010 to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis. In 2017, it also received FDA approval to treat cytokine release syndrome (CRS) caused by CAR-T cell therapy.

Currently, the research team of the University of Science and Technology is conducting a multi-center, randomized, controlled clinical trial to test the efficacy and safety of tocilizumab in patients with COVID-19. Tocilizumab has also been tested in other clinical trials. Roche has recently donated tocilizumab injection to medical institutions in China and Wuhan to assist in the treatment of patients.

  1. RNAi therapy

Vir Biotechnology and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals have announced that they will expand their existing collaboration to develop RNAi therapies for the treatment of novel coronavirus. Based on this agreement, the two parties will use Alnylam's newly developed RNAi lung delivery technology, combined with Vir's expertise and capabilities in the field of infectious diseases, to develop one or more RNAi therapies for the treatment of novel coronavirus. These RNAi therapies also have the potential to treat other coronaviruses.

Alnylam has designed and synthesized more than 350 siRNAs that target the genomes of existing SARS and novel coronavirus. These siRNAs will first be screened for in vitro potency testing, and potent siRNAs will be tested next by Vir's R & D staff to assess their in vitro and in vivo antiviral activity to select candidate therapies. Vir will be responsible for the subsequent development and promotion of selected candidate therapies.

"Considering the scope and speed of the COVID-19 outbreak, Vir decided to explore multiple ways to leverage our expertise in infectious diseases to respond quickly with partners," said Dr. George Scangos, CEO of Vir Biotechnology.

Vir Biotechnology has discovered two monoclonal antibodies that bind to the spike protein of novel coronavirus. The company is testing the ability of these antibodies to neutralize the novel coronavirus. Dr. George Scangos was recently appointed by the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO) to lead the response to COVID-19. BIO is one of the world's largest biotechnology industry associations.

  1. Plasma therapy

Takeda announced today that it will develop a polyclonal hyperimmunoglobulin (H-IG) therapy targeting the novel coronavirus to treat COVID-19 critically ill patients. The company will also explore whether there are effective treatments for patients with COVID-19 in the existing drug pipeline and in the products under development.

Hyperimmunoglobulins are pathogen-specific polyclonal antibodies that are concentrated from the plasma of patients who have recovered or who will be vaccinated in the future. Injecting these antibodies into a new patient may help his immune system respond to the infection and increase his chances of recovery. This type of therapy has a history of nearly 80 years.


Like it? Share it!


About the Author

Joined: July 10th, 2017
Articles Posted: 283

More by this author