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1/ Q: Any good news on #COVID19 treatment/vaccines?

A: A: Yes! Three happy pieces of news this week (see next post in this thread)
1. An early-stage clinical trial begins for the first antibody treatment against #COVIDー19;
2. A @statnews interview with Dr. Fauci showing cautious optimism about vaccine development;
3. New data indicating #remdesivir's effectiveness for moderately sick patients.
3/ More context:
@LillyPad announced yesterday (6/1) that it launched a Phase I (aka: very early) trial to test the safety and tolerability of a brand-new potential treatment against COVID-19.
4/ It’s believed to be the world’s first antibody treatment developed specifically to fight COVID-19.
A quick refresher: antibodies are protective proteins produced by the body’s immune system to fight off “invaders.”
5/ To date, we’ve heard lots about antibody TESTING – which assesses the presence of a past infection – now we can get ready to hear more about antibody TREATMENTS. Lilly’s experimental treatment is the first of what’s likely to be many candidate antibody treatments;
6/ @Regeneron, for example, is launching a trial of a “cocktail” (aka combo) of antibody treatments later this month.
It’s important to note that these are very early phase studies, and will NOT be able to speak to the drug’s effectiveness, only its safety and tolerability.
7/ So why the optimism? The launch of these trials signals that INNOVATION is happening at warp speed!

It’s perfectly reasonable to be heartened by the broader collective of potential treatments currently in the hopper.
In an insightful interview with Stat News’ amazing @HelenBranswell, Dr. Anthony Fauci shares his perspective on vaccine development
9/ TL;DR: He’s (cautiously) optimistic. If all goes well, a “significant number of doses” could be available by the beginning of 2021.
His biggest concern is that we don't know how well the vaccine can protect against COVID-19. Also things might not go well in development!
Yesterday, @GileadSciences released new data from a randomized clinical trial of almost 600 hospitalized patients with moderate #COVID19 symptoms.
11/ Patients randomized to receive the anti-viral #remdesivir + standard of care experienced better clinical outcomes than patients randomized to receive standard-of-care alone
No evidence of serious treatment side effects was found in the study sample.
12/ Why are these data powerful? RANDOMIZATION, RANDOMIZATION, RANDOMIZATION! By randomizing treatment status we can say with some confidence that the only differences in outcomes can be linked to the treatment itself.
13/ Additionally, the study has a sufficient SAMPLE SIZE to suggest that the findings are indeed “signal” and not merely artifacts of “statistical noise” inherent in small samples.

So what’s needed next?
14/ More data about CONTEXT – do these findings generalize outside of the clinical settings? Do they generalize to patients with varying severities of disease?

Stay tuned: the data will be published in a peer-reviewed journal article in the coming weeks.
On the treatment/vaccine development front: Stay tuned, stay hopeful. We’ll continue to keep you updated as the science proceeds.
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