Saturday, June 06, 2020

Some coronavirus news

Some coronavirus news. Good news and bad news.

Bad news first.

As many people know, two prestigious medical journals, the Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine, both had to retract published papers recently. In fact, it's become a scandal.

The Lancet retracted a hydroxychloroquine study, while the NEJM retracted a cardiovascular disease study. The main issue is data integrity; data may have been compromised. Originally data was provided by a company named Surgisphere, but a co-author of both papers co-founded Surgisphere, i.e., Sapan S. Desai, MD, PhD, and Desai's publications history is rife with research misconduct.

Also on the hydroxychloroquine front, a separate study - likewise published in the NEJM but which did not use the Surgisphere database - found that hydroxychloroquine was not significantly different from placebo:

We enrolled 821 asymptomatic participants. Overall, 87.6% of the participants (719 of 821) reported a high-risk exposure to a confirmed Covid-19 contact. The incidence of new illness compatible with Covid-19 did not differ significantly between participants receiving hydroxychloroquine (49 of 414 [11.8%]) and those receiving placebo (58 of 407 [14.3%]); the absolute difference was −2.4 percentage points (95% confidence interval, −7.0 to 2.2; P=0.35). Side effects were more common with hydroxychloroquine than with placebo (40.1% vs. 16.8%), but no serious adverse reactions were reported.

Now for the good news.

There are still many ongoing studies and trials. Such as one on convalescent plasma which was found to be both safe as well as effective in 19 of 25 (76%) severely ill COVID-19 patients.

In addition, there are several very promising vaccines trials under way. Several in phase 1 trials, a few in phase 2, and a couple moving to phase 3 trials. This includes the much touted vaccine from Moderna which is set to begin phase 3 trials as early as next month in July. The Regulatory Affairs and Professionals Society (RAPS) looks like a good website to track vaccine candidates.

No comments:

Post a Comment