Adding a new antiviral could reduce coronavirus deaths by 30%.

An international study published in the medical journal ‘The Lancet Respiratory Medicine’. identifies a new strategy for further reduce the mortality of persons admitted for covid-19. It is a matter of adding the tixagevimab/cilgavimab monoclonal antibody to.he standard treatment with remdesivir y dexamethasone which is already administered in hospitals.

This phase 3 clinical trial, conducted on hospitalized patients with different severity but who did not require ICU, has shown that this strategy is safe and, although does not shorten the recovery period of the patients, does reduce mortality by 30%, especially in the most severe patients.

The chief of the Infectious Diseases Service at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital (Can Ruti, in Badalona) and principal investigator of the IrsiCaixa AIDS Research Institute, Roger Paredes, is one of the first three authors of this paper. The trial evaluated the potential of a single intravenous dose of this antibody in hospitalized, but non-ICU patients, who were also given other drugs already approved and routinely used, such as remdesivir or dexamethasone. From all this, we evaluated the resilience and the mortality of the individuals participating in the clinical trial.

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Although the results did not demonstrate a significant improvement in recovery rates, this new strategy did lead to a clinically relevant 30% reduction in mortality, especially in more severe patients who required higher oxygen concentrations or noninvasive mechanical ventilation.

Furthermore, in contrast to previous studies with other monoclonal antibodies which were losing efficacy against omicron, the currently predominant variant, the tixagevimab/cilgavimab combination would maintain its ability to block this variant of the virus at the doses administered.

Worldwide study

The study, recently completed, was conducted in about. 80 centers around the world. and, in Spain, it counted with the participation of 150 people admitted to conventional plant and in semicritical units: 75 at the Germans Trias Hospital and another 75 at other hospitals in the country. The inclusion of a large number of patients from all over the world is one of the strengths of the trial, suggesting that the results would be broadly generalizable to the no differences in efficacy or safety were observed according to comorbidity, immunosuppressed status or vaccination status of the patients.

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“All this shows us that some monoclonal antibodies, added to the usual treatment with remdesivir and dexamethasone, might contribute to a reduction in covid-19 mortality, especially in the most severely ill patients. We in the scientific community are moving towards the use of combined antiviral treatments with the aim of achieving virus containment by the maximum number of possible avenues.” Paredes summarizes. “This study highlights the need for further work to get more rescue interventions for patients hospitalized with covid-19,” he concludes.

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