Drugmakers, scientists begin the hunt for long COVID treatments

March 29, 2022


Reuters reports on the search for Long COVID solutions. There are many trials going on of various drugs but all in the early stages.

Extracts

After producing vaccines and treatments for acute COVID-19 in record time, researchers and drugmakers are turning to finding a cure for long COVID, a more elusive target marked by hundreds of different symptoms afflicting millions of people.

Researchers, biotech companies and public health experts say major pharmaceutical companies are integral to getting a proven treatment for the disease, which currently afflicts more than 100 million people, according to the World Health Organization.

“When you look at the numbers for heart failure, for diabetes, etc, that is the ballpark we are talking about,”

Amitava Banerjee, a leading researcher on a long COVID trial.

U.S-based Axcella Therapeutics is working with the University of Oxford in the UK on a drug developed for nonalcoholic steathohepatitis (NASH), a liver disease marked by dysregulated metabolism, inflammation and scarring.

In long COVID, the hope is the drug (AXA1125) will restore the normal function of mitochondria – the energy factories of cells. Poorly functioning mitochondria may explain the crushing long-term fatigue so many patients experience.

As lead researcher Dr. Betty Raman put it, if COVID damaged the battery, the drug aims to restore that battery, so cells can perform their normal functions without using up too much energy.

Dr Shepherd's comments from November 2021

Dr Charles Shepherd, Honorary Medical Adviser to the ME Association commented on Dr Betty Raman's research at the University of Oxford back in November 2021.

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