Corona Drug Development: 5 Positive Updates

The scientists world over are rushing for a drug to treat the deadly corona virus. Here are the 5 positive developments in the last 24 hours:

  1. Hopes Rise as Oxford-run Trials Begin

The human trials the much-awaited drug by Oxford University of UK started with two volunteers getting the injections. They are among the 800 volunteers recruited for the study. Half will receive the Covid-19 vaccine, and half a control vaccine which protects against meningitis but not coronavirus. The Oxford trial is run by the university’s Jenner Institute. Research director Professor Sarah Gilbert estimated that it has around an 80 percent chance of being successful.

The institute aims to develop a million doses of the vaccine by September, so as to distribute it as quickly as possible after approval. The Oxford scientists said last week that large-scale production capacity was being put in place to make millions of doses of the ChAdOx1 nCoV-19 shot, even before trials show whether it is effective.

  1. Israel to test Selinexor

A drug that has reported positive response against coronavirus will be tested in four hospitals in Israel as part of a global trial involving some 40 clinical centers.

The drug, Selinexor, or XPOVIO as it is currently marketed in the US, was developed by Karyopharm Therapeutics,co-founded by Israeli scientist Sharon Shacham in 2008. It is based in the US but maintains a regional office in Israel. XPOVIO was developed for treating patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. It is FDA approved for this purpose.

  1. Six vaccines under trial: WHO

According to the World Health Organization, there are 83 coronavirus vaccines under development across the world and six of them are already into the clinical trials stage. Out these, three are in China.

  1. Plasma therapy shows promise

More news are coming from different parts of the world about the successful treatment of Covid-19 patients wih convalescent plasma, which started in China where the deadly disease first broke out.

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal told the media that plasma therapy showed positive results on four coronavirus patients in Delhi’s Lok Nayak Jai Prakash Narayan Hospital in the last few weeks.

Convalescent Plasma Therapy is an experimental procedure where plasma from a COVID-19 patient who has recovered from the disease is transfused into a coronavirus patient who is in critical condition. The idea behind this therapy is that immunity can be transferred from a healthy person to a sick patient using convalescent plasma.

  1. Synthetic antibody in the making

A team of researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in collaboration with GenScript, is developing a synthetic antibody to SARS-CoV-2. The research team expects that once developed, it can block the virus from entering human lung cells, and would be another potential treatment option for COVID-19.


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