UK scientists have developed a new coronavirus inhaler that could help fight the virus as soon as the first symptoms appear.
Researchers from the University of Southampton have sent 120 inhalers to Covid-19 patients for a home trial starting today.
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The promising new technology uses an experimental drug that strengthens the immune system, which has the code SNG001.
This contains a protein called interferon beta, which is produced by the body every time we get a viral infection.
It is already used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and has already shown positive results in relieving the symptoms of Covid-19 in a trial in Hong Kong when combined with other drugs, reports ABC.
When the drug is inhaled, it can be given directly to the lungs and help suppress the effects of the virus.
Scientists now hope that this will prevent patients from entering the “deadly phase” of the virus, which tends to appear on the tenth day after the first manifestation of symptoms.
If the trials are successful, Southampton firm Synairgen hopes to deploy “millions of doses” later this year – which could greatly boost the country’s fight against the pandemic.
While the team behind the inhaler will soon complete a hospital trial involving 100 patients, with results to be released in July, they argue that the new home test is essential to determine the effectiveness of treatment.
Study leader Professor Nick Francis told the Daily Mail, “We need treatment for Covid-19 which can be given to patients at the onset of the disease to prevent progression to symptoms. serious. “
“BAD SECOND WEEK”
Patients who have a severe case of Covid-19 tend to develop severe symptoms – such as breathing problems and pneumonia – within the second week after contracting the virus.
Richard Marsden, chief of Synairgen, added that it could prevent the virus from entering this second fatal week.
He said, “We can keep people from having that bad second week.
“Boris Johnson had this problem – it was this second week when he was in the hospital. That seems to be the pattern – it’s around the tenth day that people are in big trouble. They go from flu-like symptoms to an extremely pneumonia blast. “
As part of the new trial, patients will receive a complete test kit within 72 hours of developing respiratory problems and other symptoms.
They will take a puff from the inhaler once a day and record the changes in their oxygen saturation and temperature.
Doctors will then monitor their status after 14 days to make sure they haven’t relapsed.
The trial includes those over 65 – or those aged 50 and over with underlying conditions – who live within 40 miles of Southampton.
Those who underwent the previous clinical trial at the hospital have already reported positive results.
One of them told the BBC, “You don’t notice that you take it until you finish. It’s not so bad. I saw myself taking it home. “
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If the trial is successful, it will need to be authorized by the drug regulatory authorities.
But the researchers hope that good results will speed up the process.
Marsden said, “We aim to be able to deliver millions of doses later this year. “