The preliminary results of a clinical trial suggest a new treatment for covid-19
The new treatment dramatically reduces the number of patients needing intensive care, according to the uk company that developed it.
The treatment from southampton-based biotech synairgen uses a protein called interferon beta which the body produces when it gets a viral infection.
The protein is inhaled directly into the lungs of patients with coronavirus, using a nebuliser, in the hope that it will stimulate an immune response.
The initial findings suggest the treatment cut the odds of a covid-19 patient in hospital developing severe disease – such as requiring ventilation – by 79%.
Patients were two to three times more likely to recover to the point where everyday activities were not compromised by their illness, synairgen claims.
The double-blind trial involved 101 volunteers who had been admitted for treatment at nine uk hospitals for covid-19 infections.
Half of the participants were given the drug, the other half got what is known as a placebo – an inactive substance.