Coronavirus is an infectious disease that has been confirmed in more than two million people across the world. US scientists are making promising progress toward a COVID-19 vaccine, after results of a clinical trial were leaked.
The University of Chicago Medicine ran a clinical trial, which included 125 coronavirus patients, for a possible treatment of the deadly infection.
They used Gilead’s remdesivir drug during the trials, which was also one of the first medicines claimed to have an impact on the COVID-19 virus.
All 125 patients were treated with remsdesivir on a daily basis, with the results expected at some point this month.
But, leaked video recordings from the trial’s leading scientists have provided hope for a possible coronavirus treatment that successfully left patients free of COVID-19 symptoms.
Kathleen Mullane, an infectious disease specialist from the University of Chicago and leader of the clinical trial, was recorded speaking in an internal video conference about the results, according to healthcare trade publication STAT.
“The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” she said.
Patients with a high fever had a lower temperature after receiving treatment, she added.
But, we shouldn’t get too carried away just yet, she warned, as the trial didn’t include a control group.
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“It’s always hard. But certainly when we start [the] drug, we see fever curves falling,” said Mullane.
“Fever is now not a requirement for people to go on trial. [But] when patients do come in with high fevers, they do [reduce] quite quickly.
“We have seen people come off ventilators a day after starting therapy. So, in that realm, overall our patients have done very well.
“Most of our patients are severe and most of them are leaving at six days, so that tells us duration of therapy doesn’t have to be 10 days. We have very few that went out for 10 days, maybe three.”
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Drug manufacturer Gilead has also urged the public to not get carried away with the early results.
It told the Financial Times: “We understand the urgent need for a COVID-19 treatment and the resulting interest in data on our investigational antiviral drug remdesivir.
“The totality of the data needs to be analysed in order to draw any conclusions from the trial.
“Anecdotal reports, while encouraging, do not provide the statistical power necessary to determine the safety and efficacy profile of remdesivir as a treatment for COVID-19.”
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Meanwhile, in the UK, scientists from the University of Oxford are also testing their very own coronavirus vaccine.
The experts had already been planning for a global pandemic, and had previously prepared a blanket vaccine.
Lead researcher Sarah Gilbert claims to be 80 percent certain that the vaccine will work.
Fellow Oxford scientists Adrian Hill added that they hope to have at least one million doses of the vaccine by September.
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