Anti-inflammatory drug as Covid treatmentDate: 01 October 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous
Oxford University would study whether the world's best-selling prescription medicine, adalimumab, was an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients.
Adalimumab, sold by AbbVie under the brand name Humira, is a type of anti-inflammatory known as an anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drug.
Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 patients already taking anti-TNF drugs for inflammatory bowel disease and inflammatory arthritis are less likely to be admitted to hospital.
Humira is used to treat a range of conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and psoriasis.
The availability of biosimilar versions of the medicine, used for over two decades as an anti-flammatory, would make it affordable and accessible if the trial is successful.
Research has identified some treatments for hospitalised COVID-19 patients, including Gilead's remdesivir as well as the generic steroid drug dexamethasone.
Severe infections are believed to be triggered by an over-reaction of the immune system, known as a cytokine storm, and drugs that suppress certain elements of the immune system can play a role in arresting a rapid escalation of symptoms.
But there are not yet effective therapies for people who are not admitted to hospital. Care homes were particularly hard hit by the first wave of COVID-19 in the UK and other countries.