With #SocialDistancing becoming the motto of the moment, people are getting more aware of the preventive measures to restrict the spread of COVID-19. In a race against time, global organizations and big pharmaceutical companies are bent on finding a cure for this viral pandemic, and several clinical trials are getting approved. Owing to this stringency, WHO and FDA are thus loosening their leash on the use of drugs by allowing repurposing and randomized trials. On that note, we bring you a list of top 10 COVID-19 treatment that are currently under extensive research, pre-clinical trials, or Phase1 trials.
WORD OF CAUTION: None of these drugs are authenticated or assured COVID-19 treatment. These are in the experimental phase and therefore should not be self-prescribed.
It is an antiviral developed by Gilead Sciences, 2009, to treat Ebola outbreak. Some in vitro research reported its ability to inhibit coronavirus replication. Through expanded access and clinical trials, several COVID-19 patients have been treated with Remdesivir.
Hydroxychloroquine is a widely used anti-malarial medication used for lupus or arthritis. This repurposed drug was first approved in 1950s. Some in vitro studies have shown good results in case of COVID-19 treatment and a few patient studies have shown promising results. At present, this is experiencing off-label use in the USA. Although data is inconclusive, multiple randomized trials are already enrolling patients and controls.
Although primarily an antibiotic, Azithromycin has been suggested by some Pfizer researchers to show anti-viral properties (link). Although trials are testing azithromycin in combination with hydroxychloroquine, there is a potential concern of heart problems as side effects. Doctors have suggested this as a negative option in case of patients with weak heart conditions.
Approved in 2017, Kevzara was used as a drug for rheumatoid arthritis as an anti-inflammatory medicine. This drug can help in subsiding the immune response due to COVID-19 and may inhibit the cytokine storm.
Actemra is also an immune system inhibitor drug used to treat arthritis. In 2017, this drug was reported to work against cytokine storm and is therefore thought promising against COVID-19.
Roche study funded by BARDA (link)
Another immune response inhibitor drug used to treat arthritis, Kineret was developed by Sobi, Italy. Aside from the trials using Kineret, Sobi also plans to use an experimental antibody against COVID-19.
7. Convalescent plasma
The conventional treatment of disease using the plasma of a recovered patient- Convalescent Plasma Therapy. This procedure uses antibody rich blood plasma of COVID-19 recovered patients for infusion into COVID-19 patients suffering from complications. The major challenge lies in the global scaling up of the technique.
Netherlands study (link)
Galidesivir is an experimental antiviral drug, made by BioCryst, against RNA viruses. It has been used as a treatment for yellow fever and Ebola. Recently it was tested by the developing company in a few COVID-19 patients with significantly positive outcomes.
NIH trial in Brazil (link)
With several drugs jumping the line, stem cell therapy is not left behind. Mesenchymal Stem cells were already reported as a positive treatment candidate in some pilot studies and recently, Mesoblasthas got its approval for an experimental Remestemcel-L therapy against COVID-19.
Major reports :
Mesoblast study (link)
As cardiovascular health is an important risk factor for COVID-19, a heart medication has also been suggested in this list. Losartan is a popular generic heart medication which can treat hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, thus possibly reducing the complications of COVID-19.
Major reports :