A new COVID-19 pill is in the “advanced” stages of development and is being hailed as a treatment breakthrough when it comes to the fight against the virus.
Ireland’s Deputy PM Leo Varadkar announced the news last night (January 27).
He said that Ireland’s MSD Pharmaceutical is in the midst of producing a tablet treatment for the virus.
What do we know about the COVID-19 treatment breakthrough?
The Daily Mail reports that Varadkar told his Fine Gael parliamentary party about the news on Wednesday.
He said the company is in the “advanced” stages of development for the pill, which could be used as a treatment for COVID.
No other details appear to be available.
That’s amazing. With all this medication we should be okay eventually.
However, it’s worth noting that the company has previously stopped work on two vaccines after early trial data showed they failed to generate immune response.
What is the treatment for COVID?
Currently there is no known cure for COVID.
Patients are hospitalised and their symptoms are treated while the body fights the virus.
Ventilators and medication can be used to reduced inflammation in the body that’s caused by the virus.
However, there are hopes of another breakthrough treatment using a blood cancer drug.
Trials have showed that Plitidpesin is up to 100 times more effective against the virus than Remdesivir.
Remdesivir is a similar antiviral drug that is being used by the NHS to treat severe cases in hospital.
More research is needed, with testing on mice and human tissue showing great results in a lab environment.
However, researchers have said it is an exciting breakthrough that could save many lives.
Professor Greg Towers of UCL said it could even work on variants of the virus as it targets the “host” protein, rather than a “viral” protein.
“These studies show Plitidpesin is a highly potent inhibitor of the virus and is significantly more effective than the widely approved Remdesivir.
“But it’s most important strength is that it targets the ‘host’ protein rather than a ‘viral’ protein.
“This is really exciting. By targeting a host – or human protein – the effectiveness of Plitidpesin will not be altered by mutant variants,” iNews reports.
What do Brits think of the news?
Brits welcomed news of a potential COVID tablet.
Posting on Twitter, one said: “Can’t wait.”
Another added: “That’s amazing. With all this medication we should be okay eventually.”
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