Fight the Covid and Omicron variants: new confirmations of the efficacy of an antitumor drug. Sabizabulin significantly reduces mortality in the most severe patients, those who are admitted to intensive care. Significant reduction: 55%. The study was published today and is considered very encouraging, even if the narrowness of the sample examined leads to caution.
It’s not the first cancer drug used to mitigate the effects of Covid, but sabizabolin – which is still in an experimental stage – appears to give better results because, as the New York Times reported, it prevents cells from building microtubules and cables. Critical molecules that transport substances from one part of the cell to another.
“These are really impressive results,” says Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta, an independent expert who was not involved in the study. “There are so far few treatments for the most severe patients and therefore new treatments are needed.” Meanwhile, Veru, the Miami-based company that developed the drug, has asked the Food and Drug Administration for emergency clearance to use it.
But Schwartz himself notes that the sample of 134 patients currently being treated is relatively small and that “larger, more independent confirmatory studies” are needed.
Veru researchers have tested sabizabulin for its anti-covid function for two years. In particular, it aims to prove its efficacy in the fight against pneumonia, which is one of the main causes of death in people with coronavirus and its variants.
After the first experiments on mice, conducted by researchers at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Center in 2020, they moved in May last year to tests on volunteers who were given sabizabolin pills. Volunteers in critical condition or in hospital who need respirators and are also exposed to risk factors such as high blood pressure, old age or obesity.
Studies on volunteers
In the latest study – the New York Times wrote – 134 volunteers received sabizabulin and 70 placebos. Over the 60 days, mortality rates between the two groups were significantly different: 45.1% of the placebo group died compared to just 20.2% of those who received the new drug. This difference translated to a 55.2% reduction in risk of death.
Finally, other experts remember that although these results are encouraging, they must be confirmed by other studies: Unfortunately, this was not the first time that antitumor drugs, such as molnopiravir, had initially given very positive results similar to those of their own. with sabizabulin, only until then stabilizing at levels that are equally interesting but not nearly as powerful as reducing half or more of the deaths of critically ill patients.