South Korean researchers start testing pancreatitis drug in COVID-19 patients

pharmafile | April 28, 2020 | News story | Manufacturing and Production COVID-19, Pancreas, Pancreatitis, coronavirus 

The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety have approved a local trial to evaluate nafamostat’s effectiveness in COVID-19 patients.

Nafamostat is a licensed drug that is used as a pancreatitis treatment or an anti-coagulant. Medical experts in Japan said it was effective in treating COVID-19.

This permission was granted to Professor Bai In-gyu of Gyeongsang of National University Hospital’s Infectious disease department. He will now oversee an open-label, randomized and controlled trial to evaluate how the drug treats COVID-19 patients with pneumonia symptoms.

It will take place across six hospitals in Korea and will divide 84 COVID-19 patients into two groups. They will then compare the efficacy of nafamostat plus standard therapy in one group and that of the standard treatment order in the other.

The primary endpoint of the study will be assessed for clinical improvement on a seven-level scale. The secondary endpoints will be evaluated by criteria like clinical results, virologic benefit and safety results.

Researchers believe the drug may block TMPRSS2 which is a human cell surface serine protease used by the coronavirus to infiltrate the human body.

There are also studies into the drug being conducted in Japan, Switzerland and Italy.

Conor Kavanagh

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