One of the causes of death for those infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) is an immunological phenomenon. As you can see from the image below, this occurs in phase 3.
A phase 3 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multi-center clinical trial to assess the efficacy and safety of Ruxolitinib in patients with COVID-19 cytokine storm started March 31 and should be completed late October.
This phase 3 trial is the result of a researcher from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Gary Huang, recognizing a similarity of a rare children’s disease hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis with the cytokine storm of COVID-19. He contacted his colleague, Janfeng Zhou, MD, PhD in Wuhan China and they conducted a phase 2 clinical trial with 43 patients, 21 were control receiving standard of care treatment. At day 14, the CT scans of 90% of patients receiving the Ruxolitnib were significantly improved compared to only 9% of the control group. None of the patients receiving Ruxolitnib died.
In another study, the Recovery Trial, going on in the United Kingdom, hospitalized patients who were on oxygen or on ventilators were treated with Dexamethasone. Dexamethasone is an anti-inflammatory drug and it was found to reduce deaths by one-third for those patients on ventilators and by one-fifth for patients on oxygen.
Until a vaccine is ready for use, it is good to see that treatments are being identified for use.
- Siddiqi H, Mehra M. (2020). COVID-19 illness in native and immunosuppressed states: A clinical–therapeutic staging proposal. Jounal of Heart and Lung Transplant, 39(5): 405–407. doi: 10.1016/j.healun.2020.03.012
- Cao Y, et.al. (2020).Ruxolitinib in treatment of severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): A multicenter, single-blind, randomized controlled trial. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.05.019
- Horby P, et.al. (2020). Effect of Dexamethasone in Hospitalized Patients with COVID-19: Preliminary Report https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.06.22.20137273v1