Tocilizumab may be even more effective than Dexamethasone, which was trumpeted by British PM Johnson on the weekend
The UMCG in Groningen is investigating the viability of a new medicine against the effects of the Coronavirus.The anti-inflammatory that is possibly even more effective than the drug being investigated in the UK.
That drug, Dexamethasone, was described as promising by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. But the drug studied in Groningen may be even more effective.
Tocilizumab, could also limit the ‘consequential damage’ of the virus, reports RTV Noord.
Immunologist Bram Rutgers form the UMCG says: “Tocilizumab is already used in rheumatism patients. It suppresses inflammation. We often see that Coronavirus patients do not get into serious trouble because of the virus itself, but because of an excessive immune response. The first days are usually ok, but after seven to ten days they tend to get a high fever, and lung problems start to occur. The body’s immune response then causes such a patient too much trouble. Intervening in the immune system can then be useful.”
The drug Tocilizumab was already present in the Netherlands, and a number of Coronavirus patients have already been treated with Tocilizumab in the UMCG. “It has already been used in Italy and in China. But that was in patients they no longer knew. Some worked and some did not. So that doesn’t say much yet”, cautions Rutgers.
The study was designed to save the lives of half of the Coronavirus patients in the hospital. But patients who survive often also have ‘residual damage’. Rutgers: “After the illness, there is still a loss of fitness and lung damage. This drug could also counteract that damage, but we have yet to look at that. ”
Image via the UMCG