The World Health Organisation(WHO) has singled out an immunosuppressive drug, Actemra, otherwise known as Tocilizumab, as the only approved drug for the treatment of coronavirus, healthwise.punchng.com reports.
The WHO highlighted this in its landscape analysis of February 17, 2020, adding that the rheumatoid arthritis medicine belonging to Roche Pharmaceuticals was one of seven promising drugs of choice that successfully scaled through clinical trials.
The others are Kaletra (ritonavir and lopinavir), an HIV medication; Interferon alfa-2b, Hepatitis C drug; Remdesivir, a nucleotide experimental medicine; Favipiravir, a flu drug; Kevzara, rheumatoid arthritis and Chloroquine, an antimalarial pharmaceutical still undergoing different phases of clinical trials.
Tocilizumab, also known as atlizumab, is an immunosuppressive prescription medicine, mainly for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis, a severe form of arthritis in children.
The Daily Mail had reported that, at the peak of the pandemic, Chinese doctors had administered the drug on 20 patients and claimed that 19 of them were discharged from hospital within two weeks.
The findings came as scientists worldwide urgently hunt for new ways to combat the deadly infection, which has so far killed 31,412, with over 667,090 confirmed cases in 183 countries.
Owing to the fact that Tocilizumab is an existing drug, the researchers said it could be fast-tracked into experiments by regulators.
Health officials in China have since approved Actemra to treat coronavirus patients who presented with serious lung damage as a result of high inflammation — the human body’s response to the coronavirus.