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COVID-19 Treatment: The Search Continues

Clinical trials underway


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COVID-19 Treatment

 

The CoViD-19 pandemic — a global health crisis that originated from the city of Wuhan in China — has already claimed the lives of 160,000 people and forced millions more to stay at home as governments race against time.

Ever since the World Health Organization signalled the alarm of a global health emergency, countries are struggling to keep the number of cases from reaching critical levels. At this point, intense quarantine measures are the key to slowing down the spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes CoViD-19.

Little is known about the virus up until now, which explains why countries shouldn’t risk locking down entire cities. Experts have warned that CoViD-19 is nothing like the flu virus.

Up to now, researchers in the medical sector are still finding clues to developing a vaccine. But everyone is looking towards the pharmaceutical industry for a viable solution to the current health problem.

But how is it faring as the pandemic has somehow reached its peak in certain countries?

Clinical trials underway

The fight against CoViD-19 is underway in the hopes of developing a possible cure for the disease. Researchers from the UK have already started clinical trials involving more than 5,000 patients. Termed the Recovery trial, this initiative is the largest trial undertaken so far. Elsewhere, experimental drugs such as the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine are also being studied for potential treatment. Japan, for its part, is intensely promoting favipiravir (branded as Avigan), with numerous clinical trials being undertaken to guarantee its safety for patients.

Drugs that cater to other deadly diseases are also considered in the trials. Lopinavir-ritonavir, for instance, has been sought for its effectiveness in treating HIV and researchers are learning if it could be a safe drug for CoViD-19 patients.

It will take some time before a possible cure to CoViD-19 treatment is developed, but the pharmaceutical industry is confident of success given that there is adequate support in the form investments and technology.

Steamrolling investments and collaboration

As hospitals and healthcare facilities are stretched thin by the  number of CoViD-19 treatment cases they need to handle, government and private sector stakeholders are doing what they can to support the embattled sector.

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Meanwhile, investments are also flooding in for research and development, with billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates reportedly collaborating to fund the development of a CoViD—19 treatment.

Much of the investment that goes towards CoViD-19 response can be used to procure special equipment and technology. These will allow key institutions in the biopharmaceutical industry to conduct rapid testing for improving treatment and diagnostic methods.

Aside from investments, collaboration is also vital as companies will need to share technologies such as X-Ray Diffraction and other new methods that will prove helpful in mass production once CoViD-19 treatment is found.

As the fight drags on, we can rest assured that frontline medical care workers are being supported by an industry upon which the fate of the world hangs in a balance. But as some countries can breathe a sigh of relief knowing they have already passed the peak, more has to be done to bring the virus down.

 

 

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