By Charlotte Webster-
A broad trial of a new treatment believed to be capable of stopping Covid-19 patients from developing severe illness has begun in the UK.
The first phase involved 100 participants, but the new “phase three” trial is much larger. It will involve more than 600 patients in 20 countries. The revelation, first revealed to BBC journalists sounds hopeful in its prospects.
It is hoped the treatment will stop Covid-19 patients from deteriorating, especially once in hospital. The strength of the treatment is in its boost to the immune system, enabling it to effectively fight off viruses.
Patients receiving the new drug during the trial, spent three times less time in hospital . The new treatment involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection. It is aimed at stimulating the immune system.
The treatment cut the odds of a Covid-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease – such as requiring ventilation – by almost 80%.
It was developed at Southampton University Hospital, and is being produced by the Southampton-based biotech company, Synairgen.
The first patient received the treatment at Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday afternoon, and involves inhaling a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.
Early findings suggested the treatment cut the odds of a Covid-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease – such as requiring ventilation – by almost 80%.
A course of treatment with the new drug could cost around £2,000, which is not that expensive for a hospital treatment.
“To be viable it will have to represent good value for money,” Synairgen’s chief executive Richard Marsden said.