Two important #COVID19 treatment studies were released this week. One, from @Merck got a lot of attn and soared on the stock markets. The other, with better results, from @Regeneron got little notice.
Key point with both: Best results come from treatment before symptoms.
2/ @Merck press release: Gave molnupiravir to 385 people w/#COVID19 & placebo to 377.
After 29 days, 7.3% of molnupiravir group were either hospitalized or died, vs 14.1% of placebo-treated. So, says Merck, the drug cut the risk of severe COVID by 50%.…
3/ @Regeneron made combo monoclonal antibody treatment, REGEN-COV & pub'ed data in @NEJM .
28 days post-treatment, 1.3% of 1,355 treated patients were hospitalized or died, vs 4.6% of 728 placebo recipients.
So, REGEN-COVID cut acute disease risk by 71%.…
4/ The @Merck drug is a pill. The @Regeneron is an infusion. Pills are easier to take, so the 50% risk reduction drew more enthusiasm on Wall St than the 71% with infusion.
But again, both are best given like #tamiflu for #flu -- before the person is sick.
Game shifts to testing.

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More from @Laurie_Garrett

22 Sep
What @JoeBiden promised at #COVID19 summit today
1. "donating 1.1 billion doses of COVID-19 #vaccines to the world, free of charge, no strings attached."
2. "for every one shot we have administered in this country to date, we are now donating three shots to other countries."
3. "solving the global oxygen crisis, making tests and therapeutics more available, and enhancing access to personal protective equipment."
4. "preparing for the next pandemic by establishing a sustainable health security financing mechanism"
5. "The summit is meant to be a deliberate beginning to the end of the pandemic, and it will launch a lot of work."
6. "we plan to take a leading role in tracking collective progress"
7. "support a COVID-19 TRIPS waiver"
8. "We will share through COVAX," not bilaterally.
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep
Big news from Laos @PasteurVirology relevant to the origins of #SARSCoV2:
"our results pinpoint the presence of new bat sarbecoviruses that seem to have the same
potential for infecting humans as early strains of SARS-CoV-2."
"People working in caves, such as guano
collectors, or certain ascetic religious communities who spend time in or very close to caves, as well as
tourists who visit the caves, are particularly at risk of being exposed. Further investigations are needed to
"...if such exposed populations have been infected by one of these viruses, if these infections are
assoc'ed w/symptoms, & whether they could confer protection against subsequent #SARSCoV2
AND, they found, "sequences very close to
those of the early..."
Read 8 tweets
17 Sep
In today's hearing @US_FDA on @pfizer request for approval of 3rd #COVID19 #booster #vaccine the company presented data on its original 2020 study volunteers, many of whom originally got placebos. All those people were eventually given 2 doses of vax, but months after the..
2/...matched study pool that was vaxed from the start. This created a staggered time set for looking at duration of immunity, and then comparing impact of giving all of them a 3rd dose. They looked at protection against original (WT) form of #SARSCoV2 & beta (SoAfrica) type.
3/ The @pfizer conclusion is that #vaccine efficacy definitely wanes over time, a 3rd dose works to boost it, said dose is safe and powerful. Company said 1.8 million more cases of severe #COVID19 wld occur in USA this year w/out 3rd dosing.
Read 5 tweets
17 Sep
Hearings today @US_FDA on @pfizer application to give 3rd doses of #COID19 #vaccines . Much rests on the Israeli findings. Two reps of their MOH presented details, which are significant because Israel's mass vax is abt 3 months ahead of Europe & UK & USA.
2/ Israel 1st rolled out mass vax in December, and the impact against routine forms of #COVID19 was excellent. It seemed that a standard @pfizer #vaccine protocol worked beautifully.
3/ But then, Israelis told @US_FDA , the #DeltaVariant slammed Israel and #COVID19 incidence in all age groups, including among fully vaccinated, soared. The question was why.
Read 12 tweets
17 Sep
Scientific advisors @US_FDA are meeting today to decide whether @pfizer 3rd dose #COVID19 #vaccine booster should be approved. Sarah Oliver started, from @CDCgov , laying out grim current epidemic situation in USA.
the @CDCgov Oliver showed that there was a tremendous uptake of #COVID19 #Vaccination in the USA in April, which plummeted by June and is crawling back now. Overall, vaccine uptake is the paramount problem.
3/ Because #COVID19 #vaccination rates in America remain disappointing, COVID hospitalizations are soaring. And unvax'ed people under 65 are 22 to 23 TIMES more likely to be hospitalized versus those who have received vaccines. The difference is astonishingly huge.
Read 7 tweets
6 Sep
Here's the #Ivermectin saga, people.
1.) In the 1960s Japan's Satoshi Omura did chemistry work, trying to find a medicine to kill helminth worms in livestock.
2.) In the '70s he joined forces with Max Tischler at Wesleyan in USA.
3.) They brought...
...@Merck & @Kitasato pharma companies on board.
4.) Omura discovered a bacterium that emitted a powerful anti-helminth chemical.
5.) William Campbell @Merck tested it. Using synthetic chemistry, they made "ivermectin" -- 25Xs stronger than the bacterial chemical.
MORE Image
5.) The @Merck & Kitasato companies were thrilled to discover it cured a long list of livestock worm & parasitic diseases & a huge veterinary market opened.
6.) In 1981 Bangladeshi Mohamad Aziz showed that #Ivermectin could cure River Blindness, a terrible disease...
MORE Image
Read 17 tweets

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