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No evidence of antiviral benefit against COVID-19 - major trial

Tuesday October 6th 2020

A powerful antiviral drug combination has proved ineffective in treating COVID-19 infection, according to the latest findings from a major study.

Some clinical guidelines have continued to support the use of the anti-HIV combination, lopinavir-ritonavir, although the British researchers warned in June that their study, the RECOVERY trial, suggested few benefits.

The Oxford-based study, involving more than 5,000 patients found the drug made no significant different to survival rates. At the time of the research 23% of patients receiving the drug died – as did 22% of those in a control group.

There was also no impact on reducing risk of patients needing artificial ventilation. The trial involved few patients who were already intubated, the researchers said.

The final results were published by The Lancet yesterday.

Researcher Professor Martin Landray, from Oxford University, said: "Treatment of COVID-19 with the drug combination lopinavir-ritonavir has been recommended in many countries. However, results from this trial show that it is not an effective treatment for patients admitted to hospital with COVID-19.

"Since our preliminary results were made public on June 29, 2020, the World Health Organisation has halted lopinavir-ritonavir treatment groups involved in its SOLIDARITY trial and reported that their interim results are in line with those presented here."

Fellow researcher Professor Peter Horby said: "Whilst it is disappointing that there was no significant benefit from lopinavir-ritonavir for patients in hospital, these findings have allowed us to focus our efforts on other promising treatments, and have informed the way in which individual patients are treated."

Lancet 5 October 2020

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32013-4/fulltext

Tags: Flu & Viruses | Pharmaceuticals | UK News

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