Coronavirus breakthrough: Scientists trial experimental drug that targets blood clots

Coronavirus breakthrough: Scientists trial experimental drug that targets blood clots

The British Heart Foundation is working on a trial to further explore the assumption that the clots are cause by a hormone imbalance brought on by Covid-19. The drug will be one of several to be tested for their use against the infections most severe symptoms.

A third of hospitalised Covid-19 sufferers form dangerous blood clots.

The drug, TRV027, helps rebalance hormones found in blood pressure, water and salt.

Scientists from Imperial College London conducting the tests believe that when the pathogen invades the body, it uses an enzyme as a “handle” to enter the cells.

This drug incapacitates the enzyme, which helps balance the main hormones.

When there is no balance, the blood can become viscous, presenting a risk of blood clots.

The researchers think TRV027 – whose inventor was awarded a Nobel Prize in 2012 thanks to – could help the rebalancing of the hormones.

Several drugs being tested to treat coronavirus are base around the body’s inflammatory action.

However, the hormonal imbalance is a “quite distinct problem” which may explain why some patients fall seriously ill while others do not, says Dr David Owen, one of the trial’s leads.

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Blood clots being formed could also be the reason why coronavirus seems to severely affect patients who already have cardiovascular disease.

This is despite being a condition related to the respiratory system, according to the British Heart Foundation.

In spite of its connection to the respiratory system, coronavirus is a complex condition which attacks many of the body’s systems.

This drug could be used alongside other treatments says Dr Kat Pollock, a joint lead on the research.

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Some 60 people will be administered the breakthrough treatment or a placebo starting next month.

It has been proven to be safe in patients who suffer from acute heart failure, but it did not work as a cure for this condition.

HIV treatment lopinavir/ritonavir is one of 10 drugs which have been trialled or are being trialled for their potential effect in warding off the virus.

So far, none has yet worked on its own, but scientists still believe several could be used at the same time to shorten patients’ disease.

Redemsvir is a treatment that has shown encouraging results when trialled.

It works by targeting an enzyme that the pathogen uses to duplicate inside body cells.

Plasma – the liquid component in blood – taken from people who have fought off the virus might also help.

Plasma gives patients who have not restores the right antibodies to fend it off.

Other drugs are targeting the body’s hazardous inflammatory response to warding off the virus, called cytokine release syndrome.

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