COVID-19 drugs: Scientists give hope

Updated April 20, 2021, 3:59 p.m.

  • The whole world is talking about the vaccine against the corona virus, iThe number of infections continues to rise.
  • Which drugs help against Covid-19? Which therapies are used in the clinics?
  • We explain what is currently being researched and how you can protect yourself against infection.

You can find more current information on the coronavirus here

Of all those infected with corona, between five and ten percent of the patients have to be treated in a clinic because of a severe course of COVID-19. So most patients will have to get through the infection at home. In many cases, the course is comparable to a cold with flu-like symptoms, often accompanied by a loss of taste and smell.

The therapies for improving the condition are unspecific and symptomatic. The drugs used are used to relieve symptoms. “Paracetamol, Novalgin or ibuprofen, for example, can be prescribed for people with a high fever, headache and body aches,” explains Caroline Isner. She is chief physician at the Clinic for Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the Vivantes Auguste Viktoria Clinic in Berlin.

Ibuprofen can now be taken again without hesitation, even during the acute phase. “The initial assumption that it can negatively affect the course of the disease has not been confirmed in further studies,” says the infectiologist. On the other hand, outpatient prophylaxis with acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) is currently not recommended.

Coronavirus: two phases of the disease – two therapies

Warning signs that the disease is getting worse are shortness of breath, chest pain, confusion, blue discoloration of the skin and lips or nail bed. These are signs of an oxygen deficiency. In this case, a severe course is indicated and with it the need for hospital care.

In outpatient therapy, doctors largely rely on drugs that have been developed for other diseases. There is not just one effective drug. Because COVID-19 runs in several phases, in which the medical treatment depends on completely different aspects.

At the beginning of the infection, the virus enters and multiplies. “Antiviral drugs and antibody therapies are mainly used here to intercept and weaken the virus,” explains Caroline Isner.

Around six to ten days after infection, the phase of immune dysregulation begins in patients with severe disease, which leads to uncontrolled overreactions of the immune system. Anti-inflammatory drugs are used in therapy, especially cortisone. In particular, the drug dexamethasone is used, explains Dr. Thomas Grünewald, Head of the Infection and Tropical Medicine Clinic at the Chemnitz Clinic. “Otherwise, symptom-oriented therapy is predominantly used.”

Frequently used drug is immune inhibitor

Dexamethasone is known for its immune-inhibiting effect, which is also used in other autoimmune diseases. “In large-scale randomized studies, mortality was reduced by 25 to 35 percent, which is the best study result of all known therapies against Covid-19 so far,” says Caroline Isner. However, dexamethasone is only useful in patients who need oxygen therapy during the course of the disease.

Another problem faced by COVID-19 patients is vitamin D deficiency. According to a Spanish study at a clinic in Santander, more than 80 percent of the sick are affected. Vitamin D is important for a strong immune system, calcium balance and bone health. With cortisone therapy, high-dose vitamin D is therefore administered in clinics to maintain bone health. “There are also indications that a vitamin D substitution leads to faster virus elimination and reduced mortality,” says the Berlin infectiologist, but emphasizes that there is not yet sufficient certainty for this.

The immune dysregulation also leads to an increased tendency to thrombosis in some patients, which is why heparin is used to intensify anticoagulation when admitted to hospital. The doctor points out, however, that according to the current study situation, outpatient Covid patients do not benefit from heparin therapy.

Remdesivir disappointed: What helped less or not

So much for the current status. In the fight against COVID-19, numerous other drugs were used last year. For example, the anti-malarial drug chloroquine, the HIV drug lopinavir / ritonavir, the anti-inflammatory antibiotic azithromycin, and the gout drug colchicine, all of which showed no benefit in studies.

“As a virus inhibitor, we used the only drug approved for COVID-19, Remdesivir, which was initially promising, but disappointed in subsequent studies,” says infectiologist Isner. Ultimately, the World Health Organization (WHO) also spoke out against the use of remdesivir at the end of last year. The study of the anti-inflammatory drug tocilizumab also produced contradicting study results.

Drug research against COVID-19 is ongoing worldwide

Research is being carried out around the world on new drugs against Covid-19. The American Milken Institute and the Association of Research-Based Drug Manufacturers (VfA) provide an overview of ongoing projects on their website, which is constantly updated.

The research focuses on four groups.

  • Antiviral drugs are designed to prevent the viruses from entering cells in the body or from multiplying there
  • Cardiovascular drugs are designed to protect blood vessels and organs from complications from COVID-19
  • In the advanced stages of the disease, inhibitory immunomodulators are intended to limit the body’s defense reactions so that they do not cause more damage than the viruses themselves
  • Drugs for lung function are supposed to help the lungs to maintain their function during the acute infection and to regenerate afterwards with as little consequence as possible

When it comes to medication, hope is based on nasal sprays. Scientists at Oxford University were able to show the effectiveness of an asthma nasal spray with the cortisone budesonide against COVID-19. According to the study published in the magazine “The Lancet”, the probability of a severe course of the disease was reduced by 90 percent in patients who inhaled the active ingredient.

Such anti-inflammatory sprays are only useful at an early stage. Hospital patients who are very ill are also given cortisone – albeit via the vein or in tablet form in a significantly higher dose than what asthma sprays contain.

What antibodies are supposed to do

Antibody therapies are another means of curbing virus replication. They are administered intravenously in the form of synthetically produced antibodies or human antibodies, for example by blood plasma transfusions. “Some antibody therapies are showing promising results, while others have shown no benefit in the initial study results,” says Caroline Isner. When using these therapies, the very early point in time of administration is also important.

A US study showed great benefit among nursing home residents who were given antibodies as soon as an outbreak became known. However, these therapies are very expensive and have to be critically checked before use, according to the doctor. “The use appears to be particularly useful for patients who have an increased risk of serious illness and a very weak immune system, such as the elderly, lung patients, obese and diabetics.”

It can also be read that high-dose vitamin C should help against COVID-19. Some study results suggest that it shortens the duration of illness and reduces the risk of death in seriously ill patients with pneumonia. However, these high-risk patients often have a vitamin deficiency anyway. It is therefore uncertain whether the high-dose vitamin C provides additional protection against the viruses or just compensates for a vitamin deficiency in the patient.

Reducing stress can protect against corona

And how can healthy people – in addition to observing distance and hygiene rules – protect themselves from a corona infection? “Essential factors that contribute to strengthening the immune system and are often underestimated are avoiding or reducing stress and getting enough sleep,” says Caroline Isner. Permanently elevated stress hormones in the body lead to a poorer immune defense. “During sleep, we break down these hormones and help the immune system to regenerate,” she says.

Regular exercise and a healthy diet to avoid obesity also help to strengthen the body’s defenses. Chemnitz infectiologist Thomas Grünewald also recommends avoiding the everyday drugs alcohol and nicotine.

Sources used:

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Fight the pollen: gadgets against allergies, hay fever & Co.

Updated April 9, 2021, 3:33 pm

  • When the pollen starts flying, many allergy sufferers react with symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose (runny nose), itchy eyes and even conjunctivitis.
  • Classic medications such as nasal sprays, eye drops and allergy tablets help.
  • In addition to taking medication, hay fever and other pollen allergies can also be combated or even avoided with other measures.

All leaderboards here in the overview

In this article we report on various products. Some of these products have so-called partner links: If you order a product via such a link, we will in some cases receive a commission. The price for you remains unchanged. In order to be able to assign commissions, our partners use the necessary cookies, which are set when you click on the partner links. The commissions have no effect on our assessments or test results.

Medicines for hay fever


Pollen particles, so-called pollen from trees, bushes, grasses and cereals are mainly in the air in the months from February to October. People who are allergic to pollen react with the typical symptoms of hay fever: red, watery and itchy eyes, conjunctivitis, sneezing, blocked and runny nose (runny nose), skin reactions and scratchy throat and occasionally headaches and sleep disorders. Proven remedies and medications, such as a nasal spray against the allergy, help against this. The nasal spray from tetesept, for example, also uses a hydro-gel to protect the nasal mucosa from drying out.

Buy nasal spray on Amazon (advertisement)

Tablets can also be taken against hay fever. For example, the antiallergic cetirizine from ratiopharm helps against allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and runny nose. Adults and adolescents from the age of twelve can take one film-coated tablet daily, preferably in the evening.

Buy cetirizine tablets on Amazon (Advertisement)

Most allergy sufferers suffer from burning eyes during the pollen season. Eye drops, such as those from Bepanthen, help against this. These eye drops are preservative-free and phosphate-free and are gentle on dry and irritated eyes. They relieve itching, moisturize and can be used 3 to 5 times a day.

Buy eye drops on Amazon (advertisement)

Gadgets for allergy sufferers

In addition to drugs against hay fever, there are other gadgets for allergy sufferers that are supposed to make everyday life easier during the pollen season. Allergy calendars, which show an annual overview of pollen levels, are just as worthwhile as mobile pollen apps that contain a pollen forecast, alarm and diary functions as well as useful tips on plants and their pollen. Electrical devices also help to get hay fever and allergy symptoms under control:

Pollen air purifier

Air purifiers work with a filter system that often not only fishes pollen out of the air, but also removes other pollution such as dust, dirt, animal hair, bacteria, viruses and mites. For example, the Beurer air purifier works with an activated carbon filter to clean and monitor the air quality in rooms. With a switchable ultraviolet light inside the housing, germs and odors can also be eliminated.

Buy air purifiers from Otto (Advertisement)

Pollen guard



Easy to install and absolutely sustainable: pollen protection grids for your windows

© Amazon

Pollen screens for windows offer additional protection against pollen in the home. The pollen filters reduce the pollution caused by pollen by around 80 percent. With an included Velcro strip, the protective grille can be adapted and attached to every window after cutting. Depending on the pollen situation, this type of pollen filter is a useful protective measure against pollen allergies.

Buy pollen protection grids from Amazon (advertisement)

Allergy-free vacuum cleaner

Another helpful gadget for allergy sufferers to free the air in the home from allergens is an allergy-free vacuum cleaner. With the Thomas water vacuum cleaner, fine dust, pollen, mites and animal hair can be bound and removed particularly effectively in the water-filled dust container. The vacuum cleaner is produced regionally in Germany and is especially recommended for allergy sufferers by DHA (German Skin and Allergy Aid eV).

Buy water vacuum cleaner from Otto (Advertisement)

If you don’t just want to clean hard floors dust-free and pollen-free, you should take a look at other models from Thomas. The Zyklon Hybrid vacuum cleaner can clean hard floors as well as carpets and upholstered furniture. As an accessory, a special pollen protection filter system with activated carbon filter offers special protection for allergy sufferers who can look forward to noticeably refreshed air after using the vacuum cleaner.

Buy cyclone hybrid vacuum cleaner from Otto (Advertisement)

In this article we report on various products. Some of these products have so-called partner links: If you order a product via such a link, we will in some cases receive a commission. The price for you remains unchanged. In order to be able to assign commissions, our partners use the necessary cookies, which are set when you click on the partner links. The commissions have no effect on our assessments or test results.


© 1 & 1 Mail & Media / teleschau

.

Fight the pollen: gadgets against allergies, hay fever & Co.

Updated April 9, 2021, 3:33 pm

  • When the pollen starts flying, many allergy sufferers react with symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose (runny nose), itchy eyes and even conjunctivitis.
  • Classic medications such as nasal sprays, eye drops and allergy tablets help.
  • In addition to taking medication, hay fever and other pollen allergies can also be combated or even avoided with other measures.

All leaderboards here in the overview

In this article we report on various products. Some of these products have so-called partner links: If you order a product via such a link, we will in some cases receive a commission. The price for you remains unchanged. In order to be able to assign commissions, our partners use the necessary cookies, which are set when you click on the partner links. The commissions have no effect on our assessments or test results.

Medicines for hay fever


Pollen particles, so-called pollen from trees, bushes, grasses and cereals are mainly in the air in the months from February to October. People who are allergic to pollen react with the typical symptoms of hay fever: red, watery and itchy eyes, conjunctivitis, sneezing, blocked and runny nose (runny nose), skin reactions and scratchy throat, and occasionally headaches and sleep disorders. Proven remedies and medication, such as a nasal spray against the allergy, help against this. The nasal spray from tetesept, for example, also uses a hydro-gel to protect the nasal mucosa from drying out.

Buy nasal spray on Amazon (advertisement)

Tablets can also be taken against hay fever. For example, the antiallergic cetirizine from ratiopharm helps against allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes and runny nose. Adults and adolescents from the age of twelve can take one film-coated tablet daily, preferably in the evening.

Buy cetirizine tablets on Amazon (Advertisement)

Most allergy sufferers suffer from burning eyes during the pollen season. Eye drops, such as those from Bepanthen, help against this. These eye drops are preservative-free and phosphate-free and are gentle on dry and irritated eyes. They relieve itching, moisturize and can be used 3 to 5 times a day.

Buy eye drops on Amazon (advertisement)

Gadgets for allergy sufferers

In addition to drugs against hay fever, there are other gadgets for allergy sufferers that are supposed to make everyday life easier during the pollen season. Allergy calendars, which show an annual overview of pollen levels, are just as worthwhile as mobile pollen apps, which contain a pollen forecast, alarm and diary functions as well as useful tips on plants and their pollen. Electrical devices also help to get hay fever and allergy symptoms under control:

Pollen air purifier

Air purifiers work with a filter system that often not only fishes pollen out of the air, but also removes other pollution such as dust, dirt, animal hair, bacteria, viruses and mites. For example, the Beurer air purifier works with an activated carbon filter to clean and monitor the air quality in rooms. With a switchable ultraviolet light inside the housing, germs and odors can also be eliminated.

Buy air purifiers from Otto (Advertisement)

Pollen guard



Easy to install and absolutely sustainable: pollen protection grids for your windows

© Amazon

Pollen screens for windows offer additional protection against pollen in the home. The pollen filters reduce the pollution caused by pollen by around 80 percent. With an included Velcro strip, the protective grille can be adapted and attached to every window after cutting. Depending on the pollen situation, this type of pollen filter is a useful protective measure against pollen allergies.

Buy pollen protection grids from Amazon (advertisement)

Allergy-free vacuum cleaner

Another helpful gadget for allergy sufferers to free the air in the home from allergens is an allergy-free vacuum cleaner. With the water vacuum cleaner from Thomas, fine dust, pollen, mites and animal hair can be bound and removed particularly effectively in the water-filled dust container. The vacuum cleaner is produced regionally in Germany and is especially recommended for allergy sufferers by DHA (German Skin and Allergy Aid eV).

Buy water vacuum cleaner from Otto (Advertisement)

If you don’t just want to clean hard floors dust-free and pollen-free, you should take a look at other models from Thomas. The Zyklon Hybrid vacuum cleaner can clean hard floors as well as carpets and upholstered furniture. As an accessory, a special pollen protection filter system with activated carbon filter offers special protection for allergy sufferers who can look forward to noticeably refreshed air after using the vacuum cleaner.

Buy cyclone hybrid vacuum cleaner from Otto (Advertisement)

In this article we report on various products. Some of these products have so-called partner links: If you order a product via such a link, we will in some cases receive a commission. The price for you remains unchanged. In order to be able to assign commissions, our partners use the necessary cookies, which are set when you click on the partner links. The commissions have no effect on our assessments or test results.


© 1 & 1 Mail & Media / teleschau

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Several drug candidates identified for drugs against SARS-CoV-2 – Heilpraxis

SARS-CoV-2: Promising candidates for corona drugs

In contrast to vaccines, which help healthy people to be able to defend themselves against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, drug research is looking for drugs that slow down or stop the reproduction of the virus in the body of sick people. A research team has now identified several candidates for active ingredients against the new virus.

Research is being carried out around the world into drugs that can help against the COVID-19 disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. At the same time, it is also investigating what role known active substances can play against the virus. According to the researchers, some of these have now turned out to be very promising.

Almost 6,000 active ingredients tested

As the German Electron Synchrotron DESY, a research center of the Helmholtz Association, reports in a current press release, a research team at DESY’s highly brilliant X-ray light source PETRA III has identified several candidates for active substances against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. They bind to an important protein of the virus and could therefore be the basis for a drug against COVID-19.

In a so-called X-ray screening, the researchers under the leadership of DESY tested almost 6,000 active substances that were already available for the treatment of other diseases. After measuring around 7,000 samples, the scientists were able to identify a total of 37 substances that bind to the main protease (Mpro) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus.

Seven of these substances inhibit the activity of the protein and thus slow the virus from multiplying. Two of them are doing this so promisingly that they are currently being investigated further in preclinical studies.

In addition, what is probably the largest active ingredient screening of its kind revealed a new binding site on the main protease of the virus, to which drugs can couple.

The researchers’ results were published in the renowned specialist journal “Science”.

Viruses cannot multiply on their own

In contrast to vaccines, which help healthy people to defend themselves against the virus, drug research is looking for drugs that slow down or stop the growth of the virus in sick people.

Viruses cannot multiply on their own, but instead introduce their own genetic material into the cells of their host and induce them to produce new viruses. Proteins such as the main protease of the pathogen play an important role in this.

This cuts protein chains, which were produced by the host cell according to the blueprint of the virus genome, into smaller parts that are necessary for the virus to multiply. If the main protease is blocked, the cycle may be interrupted; the virus can no longer multiply and the infection is defeated.

Approved active ingredients

As explained in the announcement, the P11 beam guidance of DESY’s research light source PETRA III is specialized in structural biological investigations. Here the three-dimensional spatial structure of proteins can be represented with atomic precision.

The researchers headed by DESY physicist Alke Meents used this to examine several thousand known active substances from a library of the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology and another from the Italian company Dompé Farmaceutici SpA to determine whether and how they “dock” to the main protease “- the first important step to block them.

The active ingredient molecule fits – like a key in a lock – into a binding center of the protease. The advantage of the active ingredient library is that it is active ingredients that have already been approved for the treatment of humans or those that are currently in various testing phases.

Therefore, suitable candidates for combating SARS-CoV-2 could be used in clinical studies much faster, saving months or years of drug development.

So far unknown binding site found

According to the information, the special technical equipment at the PETRA III station P11 includes a fully automatic sample change with a robotic arm, so that each of the more than 7,000 measurements only took about three minutes. With the help of an automated data analysis, the scientists were able to quickly separate the wheat from the chaff.

“With the help of a high throughput process, we were able to find a total of 37 active substances that bind to the main protease,” explains Meents, who initiated the experiments.

In a next step, the researchers at the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine examined whether these active ingredients inhibit or even prevent virus replication in cell cultures, and how compatible they are with the host cells. The number of suitable active ingredients was reduced to seven, two of which stood out in particular.

“The active ingredients calpeptin and pelitinib showed the clearly highest antivirality with good cell tolerance. Our cooperation partners have therefore already started preclinical studies with these two active ingredients, ”explains DESY researcher Sebastian Günther, first author of the“ Science ”publication.

In their active ingredient screening with the help of protein crystallography, the researchers did not examine fragments of potential active ingredients as usual, but rather complete active ingredient molecules. In the process, however, the team also discovered something completely unexpected: They found a binding site on the main protease that was previously completely unknown.

“It was not only a positive surprise that we were able to discover a new binding site for drugs on the main protease – a result that can really only be achieved with a synchrotron light source such as PETRA III – but that one of the two hot drug candidates even targets it Betzel from the Cluster of Excellence CUI at the University of Hamburg, co-initiator of the study.

“A particular strength of our X-ray screening method compared to other screening methods is that we receive the three-dimensional structure of the protein-active ingredient complexes as a result and can thus determine the binding of the active ingredients to the protein on an atomic level. Even if the two most promising candidates fail to make it into clinical studies, the 37 substances that bind to the main protease form a valuable database for drug developments based on this, ”says Patrick Reinke, DESY researcher and co-author of the publication.

“The investigations at PETRA III impressively show how relevant high-brilliance synchrotron light sources are for the development of future drugs and health research as a whole,” emphasizes Helmut Dosch, chairman of the DESY board of directors. “We must and want to expand our infrastructures even more in the future to cope with such health crises.” (Ad)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

Swell:

  • German Electron Synchrotron DESY: DESY X-ray source finds promising candidates for corona drugs, (accessed: April 6, 2021), Deutsches Electron Synchrotron DESY
  • Sebastian Günther, Patrick Y. A. Reinke, et al.: X-ray screening identifies active site and allosteric inhibitors of SARS-CoV-2 main protease; in: Science, (veröffentlicht: 02.04.2021), Science

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

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Search so far “sobering”: Doctors can not find a cure for Covid-19

Search so far “sobering”
Doctors cannot find a cure for Covid-19

Three corona vaccines have now been approved in Europe. In the search for an effective drug, however, the scientists are so far in the dark. Research into pharmaceuticals is being carried out at full speed. An overview of bearers of hope and flops.

The third corona wave is rolling over Germany. While several vaccines were approved at record speed, doctors still lack effective drugs to treat their patients – despite research on drugs against corona, which is supported by billions of dollars around the world.

Around 400 different substances are currently being tested for effectiveness against Sars-CoV-2, says Stefan Kluge, coordinator of the treatment guidelines of the German Interdisciplinary Association for Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine (DIVI). So far, however, there have been negative results in almost all studies. Recently, “a bit of disillusionment” has occurred with the development of drugs, says the infectiologist Clemens Wendtner from the Munich Clinic.

Hopes still rest on synthetically produced antibodies that are supposed to put the virus out of action in the body. But expectations are now subdued. A number of so-called antiviral substances are also being investigated. So far, however, there is no agent that specifically fights the virus.

So far, the anti-inflammatory and long-known corticoid dexamethasone has mainly been used in hospital patients. It is supposed to slow down an excessive immune reaction, which often occurs with Covid-19, and is one of the drugs recommended according to national guidelines. Other anti-inflammatory agents are also being investigated. The drug tocilizumab, which has been used against rheumatoid arthritis, could be approved in the foreseeable future. In addition, doctors use tried and tested drugs that, depending on the course, provide protection in the event of certain complications. Clinic patients often get blood thinners, because Covid-19 increases the risk of thrombosis, heart attacks and strokes.

“Antibiotics have primarily no place in Covid-19”

Antibiotics are also often given because of the risk of additional bacterial infection. But these are ineffective against the virus and only make sense in certain cases, warns Kluge, who is also head of intensive care medicine at Eppendorf University Hospital in Hamburg. Worldwide antibiotic consumption has risen rapidly with the pandemic – among other things, this will lead to further resistances. “Primarily, antibiotics have no place in Covid-19. You have to look very critically at that.”

It is unlikely that an all-round effective cure for Covid-19 will be found at all. “We won’t find anything that reduces the current mortality rate from 20 to 30 percent in the intensive care unit to 0 percent,” says Kluge. For flu and other viral diseases, there is still a lack of direct remedies. “There are only limited effective therapy options for other respiratory viruses,” says Christoph Spinner, senior physician for infectious diseases and pandemic officer at the Klinikum rechts der Isar at the Technical University of Munich (TUM).

“This is mainly due to the fact that there is only an early window for antiviral approaches in the case of respiratory diseases, while more immunological therapies are then required in the more complicated later phases of the disease,” explains Spinner. Dexamethasone reduces mortality significantly, but not to zero. “So preventing the serious infection through vaccination simply makes the most sense.”

200,000 doses of bamlanivimab are in hospital cabinets

Synthetically produced antibodies are currently being tested in several clinics in Germany: Bamlanivimab and REGN-COV2, which was also given to ex-President Donald Trump. Despite poor studies and a lack of recommendations, the federal government had secured 200,000 doses of both drugs for around 400 million euros.

They are now in the closet, as doctors report. Only one of 100 therapeutic Bamlanivimab units had been used at the Munich Clinic by the beginning of March, while other clinics have had similar experiences, says Wendtner. “This is not the blockbuster that is constantly being pulled out of the pharmacy cabinet.” Doctors in Germany are only allowed to administer the agent to selected patients in the clinic in the early phase. If it is given too late, the body could already have produced its own antibodies, says Wendtner. “The drug can then trigger a severe immune reaction, including allergic shock.”

In the USA, the authorities meanwhile say that bamlanivimab should no longer be used as the sole antibody because it does not help against many corona variants. On the other hand, experts from the RKI recently wrote, referring to laboratory experiments, that bamlanivimab was effective in variant B.1.1.7, which is now dominant in Germany.

Remdesivir is rarely used

So-called convalescent plasma – antibodies obtained from the blood of those who have recovered – is also being tested further in Germany. The mechanism of action is comparable to that of synthetic antibodies. Nationwide, university hospitals asked those who had recovered from corona for blood plasma donations a year ago. The statements on effectiveness are, however, “heterogeneous”, says Spinner from the Klinikum rechts der Isar.

Research is also being carried out into drugs that prevent the lungs from being destroyed. It is about so-called mesenchymal stem cells. They are obtained from umbilical cord tissue, are precursors for various cell types in the body – and, according to initial studies, could help seriously ill corona patients. They are supposed to protect or regenerate lung tissue.

An employee of the Egyptian pharmaceutical company “Eva Pharma” is working on the production of the active ingredient remdesivir.

(Foto: picture alliance/dpa)

Months ago, the approval of Remdesivir, originally developed against the Ebola virus, was celebrated as a milestone. The drug is now rarely used, as doctors unanimously report. The malaria drug chloroquine proved to be ineffective and sometimes even contraindicated. Trump had touted this as a miracle weapon and “gift of God” at the beginning of the pandemic. The FDA granted the drug emergency approval – which was withdrawn after a few weeks.

In the meantime, the anti-wormer drug ivermectin has also proven to be a flop. In Latin America in particular, people bought the shelves empty after reports of alleged successes with Covid treatment – but a clinical study recently found no effectiveness with Corona.

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Which drugs against corona? | Telepolis

Image: Christine Sandu / Unsplash

Germany unilaterally relied on vaccinations against Corona and did not support the development of drugs against Corona. That could turn out to be a fatal wrong decision

The corona virus is mutating globally and is being introduced in this country in ever new variations faster than the vaccinations are carried out in Germany. The development of drugs against corona is much worse than that of vaccine development.

The EU now intends to accelerate the approval of drugs against corona. At the same time as vaccine management, the aim is now to work with manufacturers to advance the development of suitable drugs. A concrete timetable does not seem to be available yet.

The Californian Milken Institute lists over 200 preparations that are currently being examined for their suitability against Covid-19. DocCheck, for example, offers an insight into the current German development landscape for Covid-19 drugs.

Which drugs against corona are approved in the EU?

Remdesivir from Gilead Sciences, Inc is an active ingredient that has been in clinical trials for over a year for the treatment of the disease Covid-19 caused by the Sars-CoV-2 virus. It has special approval in the USA, Japan and the EU. Originally developed against Ebola and Marburg fever, where it turned out to be unsuitable for therapeutic use, it has been marketed under the name Veklury for the treatment of Covid-19 since mid-2020.

Obviously, the drug is only successful if it is used within the first five days of a Covid infection. Patients whose data is continuously monitored, for example because they use a monitoring app that continuously informs their general practitioner about their current condition, can more easily be admitted to the hospital in good time for treatment.

However, there remains a certain degree of uncertainty with Remdesivir, so that the WHO withdrew its recommendation to treat Covid-19 patients with the drug Remdesivir on November 20, 2020.

What else is in the pipeline?

Unlike the vaccines that are given before an infection, drugs are used during an infection. At the moment, the main research focus is on drugs that are already known to be used in the treatment of other diseases. The hope of finding an all-encompassing drug against corona is limited. Different drugs are used in different phases of the disease, whereby it must be clarified which drug is suitable for which phase.

At the University of Oxford the first successes in treatment with the cortisone preparation dexamethasone have been reported. Details of the therapy are not yet known, only this much: It should help against severe Covid 19 disease and reduce the death rate.

The so-called antibody drugs contain antibodies produced in cell cultures against the spike protein of Sars-CoV-2. Eli Lilly relies on Bamlanivimab, Regeneron on two with the names Casirivimab and Imdevimab. They are designed to neutralize the virus by preventing it from entering cells. This procedure corresponds to that of the human immune system in the event of an infection or after a vaccination. The antibody preparations obviously do not help seriously ill patients and are also not approved for ventilated patients. Treatment with antibody preparations in Germany has so far been possible on the basis of US approval.

With pentaglobin from Biotest in Dreieich, which has meanwhile been sold to a Chinese investor, a preparation enriched with immunoglobulin M (IgM) is available today, which is approved for the treatment of severe bacterial infections with simultaneous use of antibiotics. The antibodies contained in the preparation should be able to bind a large number of bacteria and thus support their elimination by the immune system.

What problems are there with the approval of drugs against corona?

While the development of corona vaccines was incredibly fast, there is little progress in the search for suitable drugs against Covid-19. It should be noted that the funding for drug development is significantly worse than for vaccine development. Therefore, the relevant development teams are now also calling for support from the federal government.

The problem is evidently not in the development capacities, but mainly in the expensive approval-relevant studies, which are clearly overwhelming for small companies. The federal government is still hesitant to provide support for the particularly complex phase III. An obstacle that also existed in vaccine development with mRNA development, which in the past did not get beyond phase II. It was not until the market expectation in the case of Corona that investors were ready to finance phase III.

If neither the federal government nor the EU agree to help overcome the all-important 3rd hurdle, the alternative would be for established pharmaceutical companies to support the relatively small specialists, as in the case of Pfitzer / BioNTech, or to take them over completely.
(Christoph Jehle)

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What helps if medication is no longer sufficient? – healing practice

These measures can help with high blood pressure

As blood pressure rises over the years, people often take one or more medications to lower it. But what can be done if medication to control blood pressure is insufficient?

While high blood pressure can often be successfully lowered with medication and lifestyle changes, resistant high blood pressure is not that easy to treat. The hypertension expert Dr. George Thomas of the Cleveland Clinic explains the pitfalls of cardiovascular disease and what people can do about it.

What Makes High Blood Pressure So Dangerous?

Hypertension is also often called silent killer designated. This is due to the fact that high blood pressure often goes unnoticed due to the lack of obvious symptoms, but increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, reports the doctor. So it is quite possible that people suffer from high blood pressure without knowing about it themselves.

What is Resistant Hypertension?

Resistant hypertension is when the high blood pressure is difficult to control even with the help of medication, explains Dr. Thomas. “Resistant hypertension means that you will not reach your target blood pressure even though you are adhering to the maximum tolerated dose of a suitable three-way regimen that contains a diuretic,” explains the expert.

In other words, if people have high blood pressure and are taking the maximum dose of three different blood pressure medications, including a diuretic, and their blood pressure is still not at a safe level, then they may have resistant hypertension. In such a case, according to Dr. Thomas needed additional measures to keep blood pressure under control.

Difficulty diagnosing resistant hypertension

Diagnosing resistant hypertension is not always easy. It is important to get a consistently accurate reading, but this can sometimes be problematic, reports the medical professional. There are various reasons why inaccurate readings can occur:

  • the blood pressure cuff is too small,
  • There was insufficient rest time before the measurement,
  • Affected people suffer from so-called white coat hypertension (high blood pressure due to restlessness in the doctor’s office),
  • or sick people smoked or drank caffeine immediately before the blood pressure measurement, which can affect the values.

If all of these factors can be ruled out and the blood pressure is still high, then Dr. Thomas presumably had resistant hypertension.

What Causes Resistant Hypertension?

The expert explains that resistant hypertension is in many cases a question of lifestyle and that medication can only take over part of blood pressure control. When looking for the cause, healthcare professionals will probably first examine four possibilities.

Lifestyle as a risk factor

Smoking, a high-sodium diet, high alcohol consumption, obesity, and lack of exercise can make medication unable to counterbalance the effects of these behaviors, explains Dr. Thomas in a Cleveland Clinic press release.

Other medication problems

It is also possible that drugs taken for other health problems contribute to resistant hypertension. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen), oral contraceptives and nasal decongestants can increase blood pressure, reports the expert.

The specialist advises that you should bring all the packaging for any medication you have taken with you to your doctor’s appointments – including over-the-counter products, such as herbal food supplements or vitamin supplements.

Resistant hypertension thanks to obstructive sleep apnea

According to Dr. Thomas now also has indications that obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to resistant hypertension. A sleep examination should therefore be medically ordered here if those affected have problems with sleep.

If lifestyle factors and medication can be ruled out as a cause by health care professionals, other causes related to hormones or vascular problems can be looked for, the medical professional adds.

This is how resistant high blood pressure can be overcome

Dr. Thomas lists various tips below for a better management of high blood pressure:

  • Hypertension medication should be taken correctly and at the scheduled time.
  • In the event of unpleasant side effects after taking medication, medical advice on alternatives should be sought, and the medication itself should not be discontinued.
  • The diet should contain as little sodium as possible (less than 2.3 grams per day) and a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and lean protein (so-called DASH diet).
  • Exercise regularly and, if you are not physically fit, first seek medical advice and then slowly start an exercise program.
  • Alcohol consumption is to be limited.
  • Affected people should be able to measure their blood pressure independently at home. Medical staff can help set up a monitoring plan. Measurement results should be recorded and presented to medical advice. In addition, the blood pressure monitor should be checked for accuracy at least once a year.

Dealing with high blood pressure is not always easy, but the changes mentioned above are well worth the effort. They will go a long way towards reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, adds Dr. Thomas added. (as)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

Swell:

  • Cleveland Clinic: High Blood Pressure? What To Do When Your Medication Isn’t Enough (veröffentlicht 26.02.2021), Cleveland Clinic

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

.

What helps if the medication is no longer sufficient? – healing practice

These measures can help with high blood pressure

As blood pressure rises over the years, people often take one or more medications to lower it. But what can be done if medication to control blood pressure is insufficient?

While high blood pressure can often be successfully lowered with medication and lifestyle changes, resistant high blood pressure is not that easy to treat. The hypertension expert Dr. George Thomas of the Cleveland Clinic explains the pitfalls of cardiovascular disease and what people can do about it.

What Makes High Blood Pressure So Dangerous?

Hypertension is also often called silent killer designated. This is due to the fact that high blood pressure often goes unnoticed due to the lack of obvious symptoms, but increases the risk of heart attack and stroke, reports the doctor. So it is quite possible that people suffer from high blood pressure without knowing about it themselves.

What is Resistant Hypertension?

Resistant hypertension is when the high blood pressure is difficult to control even with the help of medication, explains Dr. Thomas. “Resistant hypertension means that you will not reach your target blood pressure even though you are adhering to the maximum tolerated dose of a suitable three-way regimen that contains a diuretic,” explains the expert.

In other words, if people have high blood pressure and are taking the maximum dose of three different blood pressure medications, including a diuretic, and their blood pressure is still not at a safe level, they may have resistant hypertension. In such a case, according to Dr. Thomas needed additional measures to keep blood pressure under control.

Difficulty diagnosing resistant hypertension

Diagnosing resistant hypertension is not always easy. It is important to get a consistently accurate reading, but this can sometimes be problematic, reports the medical professional. There are various reasons why inaccurate readings can occur:

  • the blood pressure cuff is too small,
  • There was insufficient rest time before the measurement,
  • Affected people suffer from so-called white coat hypertension (high blood pressure due to restlessness in the doctor’s office),
  • or sick people smoked or drank caffeine immediately before the blood pressure measurement, which can affect the values.

If all of these factors can be ruled out and the blood pressure is still high, then Dr. Thomas presumably had resistant hypertension.

What Causes Resistant Hypertension?

The expert explains that resistant hypertension is in many cases a question of lifestyle and that medication can only take over part of blood pressure control. When looking for the cause, healthcare professionals will probably first examine four possibilities.

Lifestyle as a risk factor

Smoking, a high-sodium diet, high alcohol consumption, obesity, and lack of exercise can make medication unable to counterbalance the effects of these behaviors, explains Dr. Thomas in a Cleveland Clinic press release.

Other medication problems

It is also possible that drugs taken for other health problems contribute to resistant hypertension. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen), oral contraceptives and nasal decongestants can increase blood pressure, reports the expert.

The specialist advises that you should bring all the packaging for any medication you have taken with you to your doctor’s appointments – including over-the-counter products, such as herbal food supplements or vitamin supplements.

Resistant hypertension thanks to obstructive sleep apnea

According to Dr. Thomas now also has indications that obstructive sleep apnea can contribute to resistant hypertension. A sleep examination should therefore be medically ordered here if those affected have problems with sleep.

If lifestyle factors and medication can be ruled out as the cause by health care professionals, other causes related to hormones or vascular problems can be looked for, the medical professional adds.

This is how resistant high blood pressure can be overcome

Dr. Thomas lists various tips below for a better management of high blood pressure:

  • Hypertension medication should be taken correctly and at the scheduled time.
  • In the event of unpleasant side effects after taking medication, medical advice on alternatives should be sought, and the medication itself should not be discontinued.
  • The diet should contain as little sodium as possible (less than 2.3 grams per day) and a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grain products and lean protein (so-called DASH diet).
  • Exercise regularly and, if you are not physically fit, first seek medical advice and then slowly start an exercise program.
  • Alcohol consumption is to be limited.
  • Affected people should be able to measure their blood pressure independently at home. Medical staff can help set up a monitoring plan. Measurement results should be recorded and presented to medical advice. In addition, the blood pressure monitor should be checked for accuracy at least once a year.

Dealing with high blood pressure is not always easy, but the changes mentioned above are well worth the effort. They will go a long way towards reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke, adds Dr. Thomas added. (as)

Author and source information

This text complies with the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical professionals.

Swell:

  • Cleveland Clinic: High Blood Pressure? What To Do When Your Medication Isn’t Enough (veröffentlicht 26.02.2021), Cleveland Clinic

Important NOTE:
This article is for general guidance only and is not intended to be used for self-diagnosis or self-treatment. He can not substitute a visit at the doctor.

.

“We want to understand exactly the structure of Sars-CoV-2”

BerlinAn international research team led by structural biologist Andrea Thorn has been trying since the beginning of the pandemic to decipher individual protein components of Sars-CoV-2 as precisely as possible – among other things, so that drug developers around the world can search for remedies. But there is still a lot that remains to be clarified.

Berlin newspaper: Frau Thorn, wWhy is it so important to structurally examine the coronavirus?

Andrea Thorn: The coronavirus is made up of molecules. Understanding their structure exactly and having models of these molecules is necessary in order to find out how Sars-CoV-2 works in the first place: If, for example, the virus takes over a human cell and causes it to produce more viruses, then every single step has been taken made from a protein molecule. And disabling these protein molecules therefore means stopping the infection. But you can only do that if you know it very well: you have to understand the lock in order to be able to build a key. We are improving the molecular models of the coronavirus and making them publicly available online so that drug developers can specifically search for active ingredients that match the proteins and block them, for researchers at universities and also in the pharmaceutical industry.

Photo: Thomas Splettstößer/SciStyle/Coronavirus Structural Task Force

In the 3D illustration you can also see the sugar chains (gray) on the spikes (green). They make the surface of the virus slimy, making it harder for the immune system to recognize it.

Photo: Thomas Splettstößer/SciStyle/Coronavirus Structural Task Force

The Sars-CoV-2 genome is one of the longest known genomes in the viral world.

You head the “Coronavirus Structural Task Force”, an international network of experts in the field of structural biology. How did it come about?

In February 2020 I looked at molecular models of the Sars coronavirus, which had already triggered a pandemic in 2002 and is very similar to the new coronavirus, and found out that more biological knowledge can be extracted from the structures with today’s methods. With this knowledge, I started a month later, together with my work group and international colleagues, to systematically examine the structures from Sars and the new coronavirus. From then on we have grown steadily. Today we’re a pretty diverse group with 27 team members in nine time zones. That was quite unusual for a research project: no professor at the top, at the beginning without research funding – we are now funded by the Federal Ministry of Research – and all results go online immediately. But we were able to use our knowledge to fight the pandemic – and that was the reason we joined forces.

So the pharmaceutical companies don’t need approval from the task force?

No. We want drug developers from the Philippines to Brazil or India, all over the world, to have access to our data.

What does Sars-CoV-2 look like in simple terms?

The coronavirus is not completely round. It’s like a soap bubble in constant motion – wobbly, if you will. The outer layer is thin, soft and made up of fatty acids that are chemically similar to soap. Because of this, soap can completely dissolve the shell of the virus – provided that the hands are washed long enough. The outer layer is covered by so-called spines, which allow the virus to penetrate into lung cells, for example. But what you call a virus – that is actually just the form of transport, the “virion”. Inside, it carries genetic material for a total of 28 protein molecules, most of which are first built in the host cell in order to transform it into a virus production facility.

All this is difficult to imagine for laypeople.

Many people still believe that viruses cannot be made visible. They may even fail to realize that the colored images shown in the media are images of the virus. The virus and its danger are not visible. The people do not see the many dead, they do not see the completely overloaded intensive care units because there is a ban on visits. This is also one of the reasons why we also made and printed a 3D model of the virus so that we can make the danger a bit more tangible.

Photo: .Judith Flurer/RVZ/Coronavirus Structural Task Force

As accurate as possible: 3D model of Sars-Cov-2 on a scale of one to a million.

How do you decipher the molecular structures?

The entire virus is not measured, but individual molecules. Structural biologists are looking for one of the 28 different proteins that make up Sars-CoV-2, for example the spikes on the surface of the virus. The molecule is not dangerous on its own, which makes work a lot easier. Genetically modified bacteria produce many copies of this molecule. Then there are two options: Either we take the thinly applied sample, cool it down to very low temperatures and put it under an electron microscope. A so-called transmission image is created, a negative image of the virus protein. From these individual snapshots of the molecule you can make a three-dimensional picture and use it to build a model of the molecule.

The other option is to crystallize the egg white. The crystals are a tenth of a millimeter in size and consist of thousands of identical protein molecules. This crystal is then measured using X-rays at a so-called synchrotron, a particle accelerator, such as Bessy II in Berlin. These data also make it possible to build a three-dimensional model of the molecule from which the crystal was made.

Foto: Coronavirus Structural Task Force

To person

Andrea Thorn is a structural biologist at
Institute for Nanostructure and Solid State Physics at the University of Hamburg.

Thorn set up the “Coronavirus Structural Task Force”, which is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research, shortly after the WHO declared the spread of the new coronavirus a pandemic.

What role does the task force take on in these research steps?

We review and improve the models that were generated with the measurement data. My team members sit in front of a 3D monitor wearing special glasses and look at every single atom. Sometimes we build the models from scratch. Of course, you don’t just have to orientate yourself on the measurement data, but also position the individual atoms in a chemically sensible way, at the correct distance from one another: It’s a bit like how computers play.

How long do the individual steps take?

The multiplication in the bacterium can take one to 36 months with the purification until it works. The egg whites crystallize in one to 24 months. The measurement in the synchrotron takes about three minutes. The data acquisition and the assembling of the structures with the special glasses take a week to four months.

That means your team is responsible for the 3D modeling of the structures?

I agree. With 10,000 or more atoms per molecule, mistakes can easily happen – especially under the pressure of a global pandemic. These mistakes can doom the development of a drug from the outset. That is why we have to find and fix the errors beforehand. This is also very important for the biological questions about the virus. We are not the pioneers who will measure the structures, nor are we the ones who will find the medicine. We can enable and facilitate it and ensure that everything that is possible is really extracted from the experimental data.

Photo: Janet Iwasa,/Universität Utah/Coronavirus Structural Task Force

With the help of the spike protein or the sting, the coronavirus binds to a receptor in the host cell. A chain reaction ensues: the membrane of the cell fuses with the envelope of the virus. It is unclear exactly how this mechanism works.

How big are the gaps in knowledge about Sars-CoV-2 today?

A lot has been discovered in the past year. Researchers around the world have worked together – so do we! But of the 28 molecules of the virus, only 17 have so far been successfully measured. And even about these 17 we know we don’t know enough. Its a lot to do.

Is there anything that amazed you in the course of your corona research?

At Sars, people got very sick very quickly and went to the hospital soon after their infection. Once they were hospitalized, they could no longer infect anyone – that is, the outbreak could be more easily contained. With the novel coronavirus, around 15 percent of people develop no or few symptoms, but are still contagious. So the coronavirus is particularly dangerous because it doesn’t make you sick that badly. That sounds paradoxical, but of course it means that many more people can become infected and, in the end, there are many more deaths.

What do you know about the molecular details of virus mutants, new virus variants?

So far there are not many structures – the determination takes a few weeks or months – but these structures can be simulated very easily on the computer, as only a few of the thousand atoms in the molecule change.

What would have happened if scientists hadn’t stopped researching the virus after the Sars pandemic from 2002 to 2004?

The studies never stopped entirely. There were researchers like the Lübeck biochemist Rolf Hilgenfeld, who did corona research for many years in a quiet little room – with one and a half positions and small budgets. We owe the knowledge at the beginning of the corona pandemic to them. But yes, after the Sars pandemic, research declined significantly and was no longer funded as much. With Sars-CoV-2 it becomes clearer than ever: It is worthwhile to invest in research projects in the long term, and indeed for longer than one legislative period. If Sars research had been carried out continuously, we would have had a lot more knowledge about coronaviruses at the beginning of the pandemic. That would have been a huge benefit and I hope we are better prepared for the next pandemic.

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New remedy for obesity – lose 15 kg with a diabetes injection *** BILDplus content *** – guide

Foto: Carlos Davila/Photographer’s Choice RF/Getty Images

It almost sounds too good to be true: an injection in the stomach once a week – and you lose a good kilo a month.

A UK study looked at almost 2,000 people who were severely overweight for more than a year. Half of them got a diabetes drug infected, the other half didn’t. Amazing result: the subjects in the first group lost an average of 15.3 kilos!

Experts celebrate the new drug as a real breakthrough in obesity therapy and as a good alternative to surgical methods, such as stomach reduction.

What the drug is called, what experts say, what exactly the results of the study look like, when it will be approved – you can read all of this with BILDplus.

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