Phase-2 trial with three drugs offers hope 

#GS3 #Science&Technology 

Testing in Hong Kong hospitals shows the regimen clears coronavirus in 7 days in the mildly ill. 

  • A phase-2 trial involving participants with mild to moderate COVID-19 illness found no detectable virus within an average seven days of starting treatment with a three-drug regimen compared with 12 days in people in the control group.  
  • Samples tested for the virus comprised nasopharyngeal swab, posterior oropharyngeal saliva, throat swab, and stool samples. 
  • Clinical improvement was also significantly better in those who received the three-drug regimen.  
  • Complete alleviation of symptoms was achieved in four days in the intervention group and eight days in the control group. 
  • The average hospital stay was also significantly shorter (nine days) in participants who received the three-drug therapy than in the control group (14.5 days). The three-drug regimen was found to be safe. 

Randomly assigned 

  • The 127 participants were randomly assigned to either the intervention group or a control group. The intervention group had 86 participants and the control group had 41.  
  • Participants in the intervention group received oral lopinavir-ritonavir, ribavirin and injectable interferon beta-1b, while the control group received only lopinavir–ritonavir.  
  • Treatment in both groups started within seven days of symptoms showing up. 
  • Lopinavir-ritonavir is used for treating HIV, ribavirin for treating chronic hepatitis C virus, and injectable interferon beta-1b is used by multiple sclerosis patients. 
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