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COVID-19: treatment with already approved drug


COVID-19: Treatment with medication for diseases of the bone marrow

According to experts, vaccines against the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are unlikely to be available this year. Therefore, the hopes are that faster it will be possible to find drugs to treat those already infected. Here, funds are also used that have already been approved. The effect of a preparation against diseases of the bone marrow for the treatment of COVID-19 is now being investigated in a study.

The corona pandemic is working on strategies to curb the spread of the virus worldwide. Above all, medication is needed quickly, which can be used in particular for difficult courses. A drug against bone marrow diseases could possibly help.

Treatment of patients with severe symptoms

As it is said in a current communication, the coronavirus and COVID-19 are currently the subject of intensive research at the Ulm University Hospital.

The experts at the Clinic for Internal Medicine III are now taking part in a clinical study for the treatment of corona patients suffering from more severe symptoms.

Those affected receive the drug ruxolitinib, which has been used to treat myeloid bone marrow diseases.

According to the release, it is being investigated whether the drug can stop the severe inflammatory reaction of the lungs and other organs that is common in COVID-19.

Six further German clinics are expected to participate in the study; a total of 200 COVID-19 patients are to be enrolled.

Lung function worsens in many sufferers

Although the course of the disease in COVID-19 is very different and unspecific, according to the experts, around 15 percent of the patients are treated in a clinic and require oxygen therapy. Up to five percent of those affected must therefore be cared for in an intensive care unit.

The cause of the deterioration in lung function that occurs in many patients is, among other things, a strong inflammatory reaction in the lungs, which is triggered by the novel virus and can cause severe shortness of breath.

As explained in the communication, the drug ruxolitinib inhibits the so-called Janus kinases, i.e. enzymes that play an important role in inflammatory reactions of various diseases.

Inflammatory reaction should be stopped

Research is now underway to determine whether the preparation can also be used to treat COVID-19. Covid 19 patients who are treated in hospital at the Ulm University Hospital or other participating clinics can participate.

"The excessive inflammatory reaction that occurs in corona disease, especially in the lungs but also in other organs, is the background for the use of ruxolitinib," explains senior physician Professor Konstanze Döhner, who heads the study at the Ulm University Hospital.

“The drug can effectively suppress released messengers from the inflammatory reaction. It is our goal to stop the inflammatory reaction by giving ruxolitinib early in order to prevent artificial ventilation in the intensive care unit for our patients. "

Because severely corona sufferers primarily suffer from violent and sometimes life-threatening respiratory complications, the inhibition of this inflammatory reaction is an important part of the therapy of COVID-19.

Advantage: Researchers are already familiar with the drug

According to the information, ruxolitinib has been approved for the treatment of myelofibrosis and polycythemia vera - both myeloid diseases of the bone marrow - and has been used for this at the Ulm University Hospital for several years.

"It is an advantage that we are already familiar with the drug and can therefore successfully treat inflammatory reactions that are caused by other diseases," said Dr. Beate Grüner, head of the clinical infectiology section at the Clinic for Internal Medicine III.

"The substance is also in clinical development with us for the treatment of the so-called graft-versus-host disease, i.e. graft-versus-host reaction, after bone marrow transplants," explains the expert.

In addition to the Ulm University Hospital, six other German clinics are expected to take part in the study; the Clinic for Internal Medicine II of the University Hospital in Jena is in charge. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


Video: COVID-19 drug breakthrough? (January 2022).