Hydroxychloroquine tied to lower Alzheimer’s risk in arthritis patients in study

[Neuron image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay]

A recent analysis involving more than 100,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis concluded that those receiving hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) had a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease than those taking the immunosuppressant methotrexate.

Nature‘s Molecular Psychiatry published the analysis.

HCQ is a disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drug (DMARD) that can reduce pain and swelling associated with arthritis. It is also used to treat malaria and lupus.

The drug received substantial attention in the early days of the pandemic after it was hailed as a potential therapeutic agent for COVID-19 but later fell out of favor. The U.S. government eventually concluded that it does not benefit hospitalized COVID patients.

In the Molecular Psychiatry analysis, researchers concluded that the JAK/STAT pathway is a potential Alzheimer’s target. H…

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COVID drugs come in 3 flavors; it’s time for more diversity

A scanning electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2 (yellow). Credit: NIAID-RML

Our industry’s response to COVID-19 defied the conventional wisdom that it takes years to deliver new drugs.

Makers of monoclonal antibodies led the pack, most notably Regeneron (NSDQ:REGN), which manufactured the 8-g, two-antibody cocktail administered to then-President Donald Trump last fall. Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) and Vir Biotechnology (NSDQ:VIR) pulled off similar feats. Prior speed records were measured in years, not months.

Vaccine developers moved even larger mountains. The colossal trials required to assess efficacy and safety — 30,000 to 60,000 volunteers each — were planned, executed and submitted to the FDA in under a year. Most thought it couldn’t be done in under a decade.

And small-molecule drug makers made important contributions too. Despite all the controversy surrounding the red herrings hydroxychl…

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Meta-analysis finds some ivermectin benefits in COVID-19 patient

Ivermectin image from Wikipedia

An analysis published in Open Forum Infectious Diseases found a 56% reduced risk of mortality for COVID-19 patients taking the anti-parasitic drug ivermectin compared to standard of care or another therapy. The study pulled data from 24 randomized trials involving 3,328 patients with moderate to severe COVID-19.

The study also found that ivermectin was “associated with reduced inflammatory markers” and quicker viral clearance.

Ivermectin, a widely available inexpensive drug used to treat worm and scabies infections in humans and animals, has emerged as a COVID-19 treatment in several parts of the world. Its use, however, has been controversial. WHO has counseled against its use as a COVID-19 treatment outside of clinical trials. And Merck, an ivermectin manufacturer, released a statement in February saying there was no scientific evidence to support the use of ivermecti…

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Ivermectin not supported for mild COVID-19, study says

Ivermectin image courtesy of Wikipedia.

The antiparasitic drug ivermectin does not appear to be an efficacious COVID-19 treatment for mild COVID-19 cases, based on a randomized study recently published in JAMA.

Ivermectin — which is widely used in veterinary medicine to get rid of worms and other parasites— emerged as a potential COVID-19 treatment, owing to its ability to inhibit replication of the SARS-CoV-2 drugin in vitro and animal studies. 

Similar research elevated hydroxychloroquine as a potential COVID-19 therapeutic agent, but the drug also has disappointed in human studies. The World Health Organization now cautions against its use as a COVID-19 treatment. 

The ivermectin recipients in the Colombian study had a slightly faster resolution of symptoms than the placebo arm. The median time to resolution was 10 days in the ivermectin group versus 12 for placebo recipients. The number of …

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