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Roche mixes Actemra with Gilead’s remdesivir in COVID-19 trial

Roche mixes Actemra with Gilead’s remdesivir in COVID-19 trial

After Remdesivir has captured lots of attention after a 397-patient study showed it reduces time of recovery in some patients, Roche announced plans to test if mixing its anti-inflammation drug Actemra. That cocktail should demonstrate higher effectiveness, the experts believe.

The anti-inflammation drug Actemra mixed with Remdesivir (also known as GS-5734) could create a new drug, which works better against severe COVID-19 pneumonia, Reuters reports.

Roche, the Swiss drugmaker, has announced on Thursday its plan of new mixed drug’s trial. While Actemra and Remdesivir are being used separately in some settings and clinical trials, with the former drug used to tackle massive immune reactions that sometimes occur in patients stricken with the new coronavirus and the latter aimed at interfering with viral replication.

The pharmaceutical corporation Roche has a hope that by combining the two in a global study of 450 hospitalised patients worldwide, it will be able to offer doctors a one-two punch against the disease that has so far stricken 5.8 million people and killed nearly 360,000. The antiviral mix will be compared against Remdesivir- as known as Hydroxychloroquine- and a placebo.

“Based on our current understanding, we believe that combining an antiviral with an immune modulator could potentially be an effective approach to treating patients with severe disease,” Roche Chief Medical Officer Levi Garraway said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Roche is continuing to study Actemra, an anti-inflammatory substance originally developed for arthritis. At the same time, Roche also used that drug to control immune reactions in some cancer patients, as a monotherapy in a separate trial of 450 patients due to complete enrolment soon and produce results later this year.