Doctors investigating possible Covid-19 treatments in Ireland as part of an international study are to investigate other potential treatments in the coming months, it has been revealed.
The Solidarity Study, coordinated by the World Health Organisation (WHO), has been compiling data from contributions for over 12,000 patients in 500 hospital sites in over 30 countries in recent months.
The trial was focused on four possible treatments – Remdesivir, Hydroxychloroquine, Lopinavir/Ritonavir, and Interferon.
Both Cork University Hospital (CUH) and the Mercy University Hospital (MUH) were involved in the trial, examining the effects of Remdesivir, which was previously tested as an Ebola treatment.
However, WHO released interim findings on October 15, stating that the four treatments had little or no effect on overall mortality, the initiation of ventilation treatment, and the duration of hospital stay.
In a statement to The Echo, Dr Dr Arthur Jackson, Consultant in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine at MUH, said that while the Solidarity Study findings to date worldwide did not show or suggest any major impact with the use of Remdesivir in Covid-19 patients, including no difference in mortality, the findings were not able to exclude the possibility of a mild-to-moderate effect on certain subgroups of patients.
Dr Jackson and the other Irish Solidarity investigators, therefore, agreed that it is appropriate to continue enrolling in the Remdesivir study for now, and it is likely that other possible treatments will be investigated as part of the study in the coming months.
It was revealed in July that the Irish government had signed an agreement to enable Ireland’s participation in the WHOs Covid-19 Solidarity Trial.
Professor Joe Eustace of University College Cork is the lead investigator of the study here in Cork.
“The trial may allow us to identify treatments that will reduce the severity of the infection, decrease the need for ITU care and reduce the infection’s mortality rate,” he explained, speaking in July.