Drug Cocktails Reduce Risk Of Dying From Covid, Research Shows
Combining tocilizumab and sarilumab along with corticosteroids reduced the risk of death by 17% compared with corticosteroids alone.
WHO Advises 2 Monoclonal Antibodies For Severe COVID
The World Health Organization (WHO) today recommended the use of anti-inflammatory monoclonal antibodies—tocilizumab and sarilumab—alongside corticosteroids for treating patients who have severe or critical COVID-19 infections. ... They found that the interleukin-6 antagonists tocilizumab and sarilumab reduced the risk of death and the need for mechanical ventilation. The WHO coordinated the study, which included partners from the United Kingdom. (Schnirring, 7/6)
Drug That Blocks Immune System Overload Reduces Covid-19 Deaths
Combining two inflammation-blocking drugs reduces hospitalization and death from Covid-19 compared with a standard therapy, according to the World Health Organization. Adding drugs that block an immune protein called interleukin-6 to an already widely used treatment, corticosteroids, reduces the risk of death and the need for breathing assistance, the health agency said Tuesday in a statement. The recommendation was based on 27 trials involving almost 11,000 people. (Shepherd, 7/6)
Roche Urged To Cut Price Of Drug Now Recommended For Covid-19
After the World Health Organization recommended a Roche (RHHBY) drug to treat severe Covid-19, Doctors Without Borders quickly urged the drug maker to “end its monopoly” by lowering the price of the medicine and sharing its technology in order to quickly widen access. Meta-analyses of more than 10,000 patients who were enrolled in 27 clinical trials founds that two medicines — Roche’s Actemra and Kevzara from Sanofi — lowered the risk of death by 13% compared to standard care, especially when given with corticosteroids. The WHO noted these were the first drugs to be found effective against Covid-19 since corticosteroids were recommended last September. (Silverman, 7/6)
In other covid research —
Los Angeles Times:
Can COVID-19 Cause Lasting Erectile Dysfunction?
Can COVID-19 cause lasting erectile dysfunction? This is now the topic of some discussion among doctors and health experts as they try to better understand the effects of the coronavirus. The problem has been observed in some patients, but experts agree more study is needed to form any conclusions. Some men are coming into doctors’ offices saying erectile dysfunction has occurred following a COVID-19 infection, said Dr. Ryan Berglund, a urologist at the Cleveland Clinic. At the moment, there’s primarily anecdotal evidence, and “we don’t know the scale of the problem at this point.” (Lin II, 7/6)
San Francisco Chronicle:
Can 'Sniff Training' Restore COVID Survivors' Sense Of Smell?
Cat Berner slid a chicken into the oven in November and turned to chopping vegetables. It didn’t take long for her roommate to come running into the kitchen of their San Francisco flat, crying, “What’s burning?” Berner whirled around. “What are you talking about?” Berner, 31, an executive assistant for a venture capital firm, remembers that day as a turning point in her continuing effort to regain the sense of smell stolen by the coronavirus. It happened a few days after she and her friends, who had pledged to socialize only with each other, had a Halloween party and gave each other COVID-19. (Asimov, 7/6)
The New York Times:
Birthday Parties As Virus Vector
At the height of the pandemic, it was easy to worry that strangers would give you the virus. But a new study of what happened after people’s birthdays suggests that people we trust were also a common source of viral spread. Private gatherings have been harder for researchers to measure than big public events — they’re private, after all. And there has been a fierce debate for months among epidemiologists about just how big a factor they have been in how coronavirus moved from person to person. (Sanger-Katz, 7/5)