Health experts have been trying to devise therapies, which can treat patients who have been infected with COVID19. They have been experimenting with all sorts of available drugs, which might be able to prevent the virus. Remdesivir and dexamethasone are the only drugs, which have been proved to be effective in COVID19 recovery. Remdesivir is the first drug, which has been approved by the US Food, and Drug Administration (FDA). Many drugs like Hydroxychloroquine have been unsuccessful in delivering beneficial effects. They have shown results in the early months of the pandemic and later have been proved to be ineffective. Well, experts from Spain believe that a cancer drug might work better than Remdesivir against COVID19.
Experts have said that a cancer drug called Aplidin (plitidepsin) might reduce the recovery time in COVID19 patients. They have claimed that it will help healthcare providers to manage their caseloads as well. This drug is used in cancer therapy. It has an antiviral effect, which can prevent the virus from replicating after it infects the cells, said the experts. Experts are about to start phase-three trials of the drug. They have given this medicine to 27 patients with severe COVID19 infection. The study shows that nearly 40 percent of patients have shown improved health after receiving the drug. These patients have been discharged from the hospital after eight days. Around 81 percent of patients have been discharged within 15 days. None of the patients has shown any other signs or symptoms of COVID19 by the 30th day.
Experts have enrolled patients in the study who have been in the age range of 18 to 85 years from different hospitals across Catalonia, Madrid, and Castilla La Mancha. The participants of the study have been divided into three groups based on the dose of the drug 1.5 mg, 2 mg, and 2.5 mg of plitidepsin. They have been tested on other parameters as well such as viral load and inflammation markers. The study says that the viral load of the patients has been reduced by 50 percent after 7 days of the treatment and 70 percent of the viral load has been reduced after 15 days of the treatment. C-reactive protein (inflammation) as well has decreased during the treatment with the drug. EF1A is a protein, which virus needs to multiply. Plitidepsin binds to this human protein and prevents the virus from replicating. Experts suggest that this medicine might be more effective in the early days of infection, which will prevent the virus from replicating and cause severe COVID19 infection.