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Starting trials of the multiple sclerosis drug interferon beta to treat symptoms of corona by inhalation


The British newspaper "Daily Mail" revealed that a group trial of the reused multiple sclerosis drug had begun, which reduces the number of Corona patients suffering from serious complications by 80% in hospital.


Only 13% of patients who received SNG001 treatment developed severe complications that warranted the need for intensive care, compared to 22% of Corona patients who received a placebo.


SNG001 uses the naturally occurring interferon beta protein that fights viruses, a group trial of a reused drug for MS has begun, and researchers hope that it will significantly reduce the chances of coronavirus patients developing serious complications in hospital.


The newspaper said, the first patient in a trial of a drug known as SNG001 received treatment at Royal Hull Hospital on Tuesday, and previous trials have yielded promising results with only 13% of patients requiring intensive care treatment compared to 22% of those receiving a placebo.


Patients who were treated with the drug were more likely to recover after two weeks than those who were not, according to research from the University of Southampton.


SNG001 uses a natural protein called "interferon beta" that the body produces when it fights a viral infection.


The newspaper explained, that the anti-viral drug Interferon Beta is a treatment for multiple sclerosis and is usually given by injection, but the drug SNG001 is inhaled into the lungs using a nebulizer to trigger a stronger and more targeted anti-virus response.


Scientists believe that the Corona virus stops the immune system's ability to produce protein in high doses, with the new treatment that gives the lungs a basic boost, the drug was developed by workers at the University of Southampton Hospital and produced by the biotechnology company Synairgen. The cost of treating a patient may reach 2000 pounds, Which is relatively cheap compared to the alternatives.


The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Alexandra Constantin, 34, at the Royal Hull Hospital, was the first patient to receive treatment as part of this new trial, after she was hospitalized due to the Corona virus on Monday.


The latest study on the treatment was published in the Lancet Respiratory Medicine in November and examined 98 hospital patients with the virus between March and May, at the height of the epidemic in Britain.


The newspaper said that the experiment divided the study people into two halves, as the group received the new treatment and the other group was given a placebo. The experiment was conducted on a "double blind" basis, which means that neither the researchers nor the 98 patients knew who was receiving the SNG001 treatment.


In the placebo group, 11 (22%) of 50 patients were either transferred to the ICU or required mechanical ventilation after 2 weeks, 3 of whom ultimately died.


Among those given SNG001, only 6 (13%) of 48 patients became severely ill and there were no deaths. Patients who took the drug were twice as likely to return to their full health by the end of the two-week period, and a total of 21 (44%) recovered. In the SNG001 group at the time, compared to 11 (22%) patients in the placebo group.


Lead author Professor Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton, said: The results confirm our belief that interferon beta is a drug widely known and approved for use in its injectable form, and it may have the same ability as an inhaled drug to restore the lung immune response. And accelerate recovery from corona.


The newspaper confirmed, inhaled beta interferon provides high concentrations of an immune protein, which strengthens lung defenses instead of targeting specific viral mechanisms, and this may carry additional benefits for treating corona infection when it occurs alongside infection with another respiratory virus, such as influenza or a respiratory cell virus. Which may be encountered in the winter months.


The authors acknowledge that their study, while promising, had several limitations, most notably the small sample size, so larger randomized clinical trials are needed to confirm these results.

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