Still too early to determine which potential Covid-19 treatments are effective

Still too early to determine which potential Covid-19 treatments are effective

The Washington Post reports:

The journey of EIDD-2801, from laboratory to the mouth of a human, unfolded with head-snapping speed.

On March 23, a division of Emory University in Atlanta licensed the experimental drug to a Miami company owned by a wealthy hedge-fund manager and his wife. Just three weeks later, a pill was given to a person for the first time in a test of its safety, in Britain.

It marked the beginning of an accelerated testing regimen that will determine whether EIDD-2801 will emerge as a true weapon against SARS-CoV-2 — or wind up as one of many hopeful bids in a field of long-shot treatments. If it works, the pill could be given to people as soon as they show symptoms of covid-19, Wayne Holman, the founder of privately held Ridgeback Biotherapeutics, said in an interview. Holman has deep experience investing in drug companies and set up Ridgeback Bio with his wife, Wendy, in 2015.

Because it is a pill, Holman said, the Emory/Ridgeback drug has the potential to be even better than the most promising treatment in the pipeline, remdesivir, an intravenous drug made by Gilead Sciences. Remdesivir was the subject of heavy stock market speculation Thursday after a report on the news site STAT indicated the experimental drug showed positive results at a single clinical trial site, in Chicago.

“Imagine that person being treated at home, by mouth, on day three and being better and no longer spreading the virus. It cuts it short,” Holman said. “That is game-changing.”

“Imagine” is the most relevant word at this early stage of the drug’s development. But that sense of hope, and Ridgeback’s accelerated project, illustrate the frenzied pace at which governments, companies and academic researchers have opened the floodgates to testing numerous drugs — old, new and barely out of the lab — to combat the novel coronavirus and give seriously ill people a better shot at survival. [Continue reading…]

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