Blood Plasma Treatment Is Put on Hold; Data Too Weak, Scientists Say
President Trump said the decision was made because many "people over there don't want to rush things. They want to do it after Nov. 3rd." Research news is on vaccine trials, as well.
The New York Times:
Blood Plasma Treatment For Covid-19 Now On Hold At F.D.A.
Last week, just as the Food and Drug Administration was preparing to issue an emergency authorization for blood plasma as a Covid-19 treatment, a group of top federal health officials including Dr. Francis S. Collins and Dr. Anthony S. Fauci intervened, arguing that emerging data on the treatment was too weak, according to two senior administration officials. The authorization is on hold for now as more data is reviewed, according to H. Clifford Lane, the clinical director at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. An emergency approval could still be issued in the near future, he said. (Weiland, LaFraniere and Fink, 8/19)
Trump Suggests Government Scientists Held Back Plasma Therapy For Political Reasons
President Donald Trump on Wednesday accused government scientists of slow-walking a safe but unproven coronavirus therapy, convalescent plasma, for political reasons. “You have lot of people over there that don't want to rush things. They want to do it after November 3rd,” he said in a White House press briefing. (Owermohle and Brenna, 8/19)
In other news about COVID treatments —
Iranian Clinical Trials Assess Hepatitis C Combo Drug For COVID-19
The results from two randomized, controlled clinical trials published today in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy suggest the hepatitis C combination drug sofosbuvir/daclatasvir has potential as a treatment for COVID-19. In one of the trials, 66 adults with moderate or severe COVID-19 at four university hospitals in Iran were randomized 1:1 into a treatment arm receiving sofosbuvir/daclatasvir plus standard care or a control arm receiving standard care alone from Mar 26 to Apr 26. The primary endpoint was clinical recovery within 14 days of treatment. The results showed that recovery within 14 days was achieved in 29 of 33 patients (88%) in the treatment arm and 22 of 33 patients (67%) in the control arm (P = 0.076). Patients in the treatment arm also had a significantly shorter median duration of hospitalization (6 days) than the control group (8 days). (8/19)
Peru To Test China Sinopharm's COVID-19 Vaccine In Phase 3 Trial
Health authorities of the Republic of Peru have approved a Phase 3 clinical trial for a potential COVID-19 vaccine developed by China National Biotec Group (CNBG), the company said on Thursday in Chinese social media platform Weibo. The experimental vaccine of CNBG, a unit of state-owned pharmaceutical giant China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm), has already entered Phase 3 testing in United Arab Emirates. (8/20)
Pope: Rich Can't Get Priority For Vaccine, Poor Need Help
Pope Francis on Wednesday warned against any prospect that rich people would get priority for a coronavirus vaccine. “The pandemic is a crisis. You don’t come out of it the same — either better or worse,″ Francis said, adding improvised remarks to his planned speech for his weekly public audience. (D'Emilio, 8/19)