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Recently China has approved Roche's anti-inflammation drug Actemra for coronavirus (COVID-19) victims. China and the Swiss drugmaker Roche are in contact to combat the deadly Coronavirus (COVID19). China has approved the use of Swiss drugmaker Roche's anti-inflammation drug Actemra for patients who develop severe complications from the coronavirus as it urgently hunts for new ways to combat the deadly infection that is spreading worldwide, report revealed.
Researchers in the country are testing Actemra, known generically as tocilizumab, in a clinical trial expected to include coronavirus patients and running until May 10. China is hoping that some older drugs could stop severe cytokine release syndrome (CRS), or cytokine storms, an overreaction of the immune system which is considered a major factor behind catastrophic organ failure and death in some coronavirus patients.
China National Health Commission recently released the Guidelines to treat COVID-19 that included a drug called Actemra developed and sold by Roche was sold by Cipla. Actemra is a biologic drug approved in 2010 in the United States for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), inhibits high Interleukin 6 (IL-6) protein levels that drive some inflammatory diseases.
As per recent report, on Wednesday China's National Health Commission said in treatment guidelines that Actemra can now be used to treat coronavirus patients having serious lung damage. As more than 3,000 people have died and 93,000 have been infected by the COVID19 or coronavirus worldwide, the recent reports have hinted that China along with Swiss firm is trying to develop new vaccine by rejuvenating decade old medicines.
Coronavirus which originated in Wuhan, China, has spread to around 90 countries including the United States, Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany.
Some reports suggested that China's National Medical Product Administration has yet to give its approval for Actemra to be sold for use in coronavirus infection cases and Chinese drugmakers are also racing to develop alternatives to Roche's treatment.
Roches anti-inflammation drug Actemra (tocilizumab) is being told that firm’s medicine to treat patients developing severe complications from coronavirus. Swiss firm Roche, which donated $2.02 million worth of Actemra in February, said the Actemra’s trial was initiated independently by a third party with the aim of exploring the efficacy and safety of the drug in coronavirus patients with CRS. It added that there was currently no published clinical trial data on the drug's safety or efficacy against the coronavirus.
Swiss company, for which China is its No. 2 market behind the United States, also makes diagnostic gear to detect the coronavirus.
Since Actemra's approval a decade ago, it has become a go-to drug against other inflammatory conditions, including cytokine storms in cancer patients receiving cell therapies from Novartis and Gilead Sciences.
In 2012 it helped save the life of a young US girl, the first child to be treated for leukaemia with Novatis' Kymriah, from a post-treatment rush of IL-6.
On other hand report from Japan confirmed that there was a success with tocilizumab (Actemra, an anti IL-6 agent used for neuromyelitis optica) in treating a large inflammatory spinal cord lesion (which they call ‘tumefactive multiple sclerosis’ in a 12 year old boy
About Decade old Medicine
Priced at between $20-30,000 annually for RA according to SSR Health, Roche's decade old medicine is being used for rare juvenile arthritis and giant cell arteritis, or inflammation of the blood vessels.
Should Read- Coronavirus in India Live Updates
How Coronavirus causes Death- As per reports cytokine release syndrome (CRS), or cytokine storms, an overreaction of the immune system is considered a major factor behind catastrophic organ failure and death in some coronavirus patients.
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