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UK scientists behind major COVID initiation study to test monkeypox treatment


This image, taken on May 23, 2022, shows test tubes labeled “Monkeypox Virus Positive and Negative.” REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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LONDON (Reuters) – British scientists involved in one of the major treatment trials for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO). It focused on treating monkeypox, a flagrant viral disease.

The University of Oxford team behind the so-called RECOVERY trial, which will focus on four effective COVID treatments, announced Tuesday a new trial called PLATINUM, SIGA Technologies’ (follow him) Tecovarimat is an effective treatment for monkeypox.

Vaccines for the closely related species of smallpox have been developed and can reduce the risk of contracting monkeypox, but currently there are no treatments proven to help speed recovery in people who develop the disease. there is no.

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Since early May, more than 40,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported in more than 80 countries where the virus is not endemic. This includes a small number of fatalities. More than 35% of his current global number of cases are in the US, and in the UK he has over 3,000 confirmed cases. read more

The virus is mainly transmitted through close contact with an infected person. It usually causes mild symptoms such as fever, rash, swollen lymph nodes, and pus-filled skin lesions. According to WHO, people tend to recover within 2-4 weeks, but severe cases can occur.

Siga’s drug, branded Tpoxx, is licensed by the European Union and the United Kingdom to treat diseases caused by the family of orthopoxviruses, including smallpox, monkeypox and cowpox, but trial data are limited. It is generally only used in severe cases in the UK because

In the United States and Canada, this drug is only approved for treating smallpox.

Because smallpox has been eradicated and cases of monkeypox and cowpox are usually sporadic, no studies have been conducted to assess the efficacy of drugs in infected people.

Instead, its efficacy is based on studies in animals infected with lethal doses of orthopoxvirus and testing of the drug’s effects in healthy humans.

Funded by a £3.7 million ($4.35 million) UK government grant, the PLATINUM trial aims to recruit at least 500 participants. Participants will receive his 14-day course of tecovarimat twice daily, or a placebo.

To assess drug efficacy, the rate of lesion healing, the time it takes for patients to test negative for the virus, and the percentage of patients requiring hospitalization for complications will be tracked.

Sir Peter Hovey, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health at the University of Oxford and Director of the New Pandemic Science Institute, said: .

Earlier this month, U.S. officials indicated they were planning a randomized clinical trial in the country to determine whether tecovirimat should gain U.S. approval for monkeypox. read more

Siga, which markets oral and intravenous formulations of the drug, has already received orders for oral tecovalimat worth $60 million this year.

Meanwhile, the only licensed monkeypox vaccine was manufactured by the Danish company Bavarian Nordic. (BAVA.CO) – Supply is in short supply, forcing countries to expand existing supplies. read more

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Reported by Natalie Glover, London. Edited by Jan Harvey

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.




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