As of Saturday morning the novel coronavirus had infected more than 4 million people worldwide, nearly 280,000 of whom died fighting the disease. Some 2.4 million cases are still active worldwide, but the number is probably far higher than that. Asymptomatic and mild COVID-19 patients in many countries where there are not enough tests to get around can go undetected. But the world has made tremendous progress in the treatment of the disease and in the years to come it will be even easier to treat patients as we await the widespread availability of viable vaccines.
According to a study that included more than 1,000 people, Remdesivir can reduce the recovery time from 15 days to 11 days, and is considered standard COVID-19 therapy. However, there isn’t enough of the drug to go around so Remdesivir alone won’t be enough. The drug can’t reduce mortality rates either, so it will require additional medicines. Blood thinners can reduce complications of COVID-19 and the risk of death, as demonstrated by another study. Men given a specific type of treatment for prostate cancer could also experience a milder case of COVID-19.
These are all developments in COVID-19 therapy which have been detailed over the last few days. Now, we’ve gotten word of another novel coronavirus treatment that works, a triple-drug combo that in mild and moderate cases can dramatically speed recovery.
Published in The Lancet Journal, the study details a randomized Phase 2 trial for three drugs at Hong Kong University, including interferon beta-1b, lopinavir-ritonavir, and ribavirine.
If the combo of lopinavir-ritonavir sounds familiar, this is because it is an antiviral used for patients with HIV and it is usually sold under the name Kaletra. The drug was used in other clinical trials under COVID-19. Ribavirin is also an antiviral that can be used including other diseases to treat hepatitis C. Interferon beta-1b is a booster to the immunity that can be used to treat multiple sclerosis.
Note that it is yet to be seen what the best combination of drugs could be, paired with Remdisivir.