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Drug shows promise in 1st largely minority COVID-19 study

The drug, given through an IV, tamps down a protein that is often found in excess in COVID-19 patients.

A drug company on Friday said a medicine it sells to tamp down inflammation has helped prevent the need for breathing machines in hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the first large study that primarily enrolled Hispanic and Black people.

Switzerland-based Roche reported the results for tocilizumab, sold now as Actemra and RoActemra for treating rheumatoid arthritis and some other diseases.

The company said it would quickly publish the results, which have not yet been reviewed by independent scientists, and would speak with regulators about next steps.

The drug, given through an IV, tamps down a protein called interleukin-6 that is often found in excess in COVID-19 patients. It failed in a previous study that tested it in people more severely ill from the coronavirus.

The new study was done in the United States, South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico and Peru. About 85 percent of the 389 participants were Hispanic, Black, Native American or other ethnic or racial minorities. These groups have been disproportionately hurt by the pandemic.

A medical worker preparing a shot as a study of a…

Al Jazeera

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