POST Online Media Lite Edition



 

NEWLY REPORTED COVID-19 CASES (11.19.2021, 4:50pm CEST, WHO):   India 11,106    Brazil 11,977    United Kingdom 46,858    Russia 37,156    Turkey 22,234    France 19,840    Argentina 1,553    Germany 52,970    Spain 3,932    Columbia 2,257    Italy 10,645    Mexico 3,836    Ukraine 20,050    Poland 23,242    Philippines 1,297    Malaysia 6,380    Netherlands 23,680    Peru 1,370    Thailand 6,855    Czechia 13,374    Canada 2,448    Romania 3,076    Chile 2,611    Serbia 3,219    Sweden 1,210    Portugal 2,398    Vietnam 10,223    Kazakhstan 1,272    Austria 14,212    Hungary 11,289    Greece 7,276    Georgia 4,278    Bulgaria 2,785    Belarus 1,844    Slovakia 7,418    Azerbaijan 2,124    Croatia 7,270    Bolivia 1,119    Ireland 4,646    Lithuania 1,847    Denmark 4,013    South Korea 3,034    Slovenia 3,662    Latvia 1,221    Laos 1,401    China 31    New Zealand 200    Australia 1,302   

Spain: PharmaMar to begin Phase 3 trial of drug to treat COVID-19

Christian Fernsby |
Spanish regulators have given PharmaMar the green light to begin Phase 3 trial of a promising drug to treat COVID-19, the company announced on Thursday.

Article continues below




In lab tests, an international group of researchers found that the drug, plitidepsin, was 27.5 times more effective than the well-known remdesivir in limiting virus replication in human cells.

That research was published in the peer-reviewed Science journal.

Another of its potential strengths is that rather than attacking the virus itself, plitidepsin blocks a host protein that allows the virus to spread in the body.

“If plitidepsin is successful in the treatment of COVID-19, the SARS-CoV-2 virus will be unable to gain resistance against it through mutation, which is a major concern,” said Kris White of Mt. Sinai Medical school and first author of the Science paper, in a press release.

The Spanish pharmaceutical company Pharmamar said the drug has demonstrated a 99% reduction of viral loads in the lungs of plitidepsin-treated animals.

Pharmamar has also completed a successful Phase 1-2 trial on safety and efficacy, which has allowed them to expand to a larger clinical trial.

The company expects to enroll more than 600 patients around the world once it obtains all the necessary regulatory permissions.

The main goal of the new trial is to compare plitidepsin to the standard treatments of dexamethasone or dexamethasone combined with remdesivir in hospitalized patients with moderate COVID-19.

Its success will be judged by the number of patients who fully recover by day eight and who are not readmitted to the hospital in the following month.

The drug’s original compound was first discovered in rare sea creatures called sea squirts living in the waters of Ibiza. It is currently approved in Australia, under the name Aplidina, to treat blood cancer.


What to read next

Casirivimab and imdevimab reduced hospitalisation, death by 70% in non-hospitalised patients with COVID-19
Experimental Ebola vaccines elicit year-long immune response
India's vaccine maker starts phase 3 trials of coronavirus vaccine Covaxin