The antiviral remdésivir should soon become the first drug to be approved by Health Canada for a specific use in the case of COVID-19.
“Health Canada is currently studying it and we have exchanges with the manufacturer,” informs Sylvie Bouchard, director of evaluation of drugs and technologies for purposes of reimbursement to the INESSS. “Health Canada may issue an imminent its notice of compliance. “
Currently, the drug is not available in Canada, except in the framework of special programs or research protocols. This notice of Health Canada will allow the drug to be marketed. Canadians sick of the COVID-19 will thus be able to benefit in the event of a second wave, says the specialist.
The remdésivir is the only antiviral drug that has successfully passed the test of studies. After dropping the chloroquine and Kaletra, the world health Organization has confirmed that it remains the only antiviral drug in the list in the tests that it oversees.
“A major impact “
The drug was developed to fight Ebola. It is manufactured by the pharmaceutical company Gilead. It works by preventing the reproduction of the virus and has demonstrated its effectiveness in several studies, in hospitalized patients. Its action can reduce the recovery time of the disease and decrease the length of stay in hospital of four days on average.
In the case of Florida, for example, where the health facilities are crowded, four days less spent by patients on hospital beds, this has a ” major impact on the health care organization “, said Ms. Bouchard.
The drug is however very expensive, underlines the intensivist and researcher at the CHUM Michael Chassé, who brings caveats to its use on a large scale. “It is very far from being a molecule miracle, and anyway, they are not able to synthesize enough for now so that we can have access to it. It is very expensive. “
In Quebec, the cost is not a barrier to the use of a drug, ” says Dr. Chased. But this is not the case for all countries.
Antibodies of llamas under the magnifying glass
Winter, a female Lama of Belgium, is able to produce antibodies against the coronavirus.
You may remember Winter (photo), the female lama, in Belgium, capable of producing an antibody that is being studied against the COVID-19. While these researchers are continuing their work, other scientists, british, those, also explore the capabilities of the immune of this mammal ruminant. The specialists affiliated with the Rosalind Franklin Institute claim to have discovered antibodies, derivatives also llamas, with the ability to neutralize the SARS-CoV-2. They are called nanocorps, due to their small size. According to laboratory tests, once modified, they have the ability to bind to the protein peak of the SARS-CoV-2, preventing it from entering human cells.
The tuberculosis vaccine would help prevent deaths
Us researchers from Virginia Tech university, questioned why the mortality rates related to the COVID-19 was particularly low in some developing countries. Part of the answer would be that it continues to deliver a massive amount of a vaccine against tuberculosis, a disease less common in industrialized countries. It is known that the vaccine bilié of Calmette and Guérin (BCG) offers some protection against other respiratory viral illnesses. A statistical analysis shows that deaths caused by the COVID-19 are less numerous, proportionally speaking, in countries where the BCG vaccine is more widespread.
4 molecules would prevent the replication of the virus
Four medications existing that are in development or already used for the treatment of other diseases would also have the ability to prevent the virus SARS-CoV-2 to make copies of itself in the human body. This is what argue researchers in south Florida after having put it to the test, when biochemical tests in the laboratory, fifty or compounds. The four products selected are the most promising, but other studies will have to be made to confirm their effect would be anti-COVID-19. They target a key enzyme of the sars coronavirus, without which it cannot replicate in human cells.
This thinks of that the doc Béliveau
A doctor in biochemistry
The approval of the remdésivir is good news, but the clinical data acquired clearly show that this medicine will not alone curb the hiv pandemic. However, it is a weapon in our therapeutic arsenal. Used in combination with other drugs, it could present a synergy of surprising effectiveness, by attacking a target new therapeutic.