Costa Rica will begin next week a second study on equine serum against COVID-19, the objective is to measure its effectiveness in higher doses, as reported by official authorities. The Costa Rican Social Security Fund (CCSS) and the University of Costa Rica (UCR) indicated that in the second part of the research the experts will increase the dose and evaluate the safety and efficacy results.
“What we hope is to establish a specific dose behavior, this means to see if there is a curve that: the higher the dose, the greater the antiviral effect. But that will depend on the amount of virus inside the organism of the patients in the study”, explained in a press conference the principal investigator, the doctor Willem Buján.
The study will involve 156 people over 18 years of age, with less than 24 hours of hospitalization, with less than 10 days of having started the manifestation of moderate or severe symptoms and with pneumonia confirmed by SARS-CoV-2. All participants must sign an informed consent prior to joining the study.
Attendees will be divided into 4 groups. A placebo control group and 3 groups to which the doses will be applied. Each person will receive a single dose, 12 milligrams per kilogram of weight, or 30 milligrams per kilogram of weight, or 56 milligrams per kilogram of weight.
Efficacy of the treatment
According to the authorities, the study also hopes to determine the efficacy of the doses through the clinical evolution of the patient, morbility between 7 and 28 days of hospitalization, the requirement of mechanical ventilation, the days of hospital stay and determine adverse events such as allergies.
The executive president of the CCSS, Román Macaya, affirmed that in order to face the COVID-19 Pandemic, the country’s scientific community had to be turned to to find “innovative” therapeutic options.
Innovation of Tico science
For Macaya, this second phase proves “the quality, capacity and innovation of the scientific personnel that places Costa Rica very high worldwide, forming part of a very small number of countries that develop this type of therapy, known as passive immunotherapy.”
Around 150 people are involved in the research, which includes the principal investigator, site investigators, clinical coordinators, monitors, pharmacy, laboratory, nursing, respiratory therapy and administrative support personnel, among others.
Costa Rica began in July of last year the processing of the plasma with which it was going to prepare the formulation of equine antibodies against covid-19. Now this anticovid-19 equine serum seeks to be the first potential drug for the treatment of infection by the novel Coronavirus created with Tico scientific know-how.
Data from the Ministry of Health updated to this past Friday, indicate that the country registers a total of 204,341 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 177,099 people have recovered and 2,800 have died. Costa Rica began vaccinating the population against COVID-19 in December and to date it has applied a total of 101,183 doses, with an application rate of 1.99 per 100 inhabitants.