Coronavirus, will “Tocilizumab” be the drug of hope?

03.12.2020 – 08.30 – Its name is ‘‘Tocilizumab”; for many it is a drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, for all others it could become the drug of hope.
The latter, in fact, used on patients affected by ”Coronavirus” could be one of the most effective weapons already in the hands of doctors, to help stop the spread of the pandemic.
Its use as a cure for the ”Coronavirus” comes from an assumption that, as explained by Dr. Paolo Ascierto, director of Oncology Immunotherapy at the Hospital ”Giovanni Pascale” in Naples, connects Italy to China.
”Tocilizumab”, is a drug prescribed daily by oncologists to prevent unwanted side effects caused by some immunotherapy drugs.
It is a drug that acts in particular against the fatal ”Cytokine Storms’‘, which occur when an important immune reaction occurs; the same reaction that occurs in the lungs following infection with Covid-19.

Once this conclusion was reached, the doctors of the above-mentioned hospital in Campania immediately reached their Chinese colleagues, who reported that they had already used ”Tocilizumab” on 21 patients and noticed significant improvements in their health conditions.
Currently, six patients in Italy have been treated with the unusual anti-arthritis drug and the first of them, showed the hoped-for improvements, already after 24 hours.

After 48 hours, on the other hand, his respiratory parameters were almost back to normal, which is why, in the next few hours, he could also give up nasal oxygenation tubes. The second patient also showed improvements, while the others are still waiting for the drug to take effect.

Although the effects of ”Tocilizumab” have yet to be validated by the WHO, the staff of the hospital in Campania are optimistic, especially as it will improve the control and management of any major emergency cases.
As things stand, it is necessary to understand how many patients are responding positively to the drug, how the improvements affect the disappearance of the infection and at what stage of the infection it is advisable to intervene to enable the drug to give the greatest effectiveness.

The Campania Institute has set up a task force together with the Cotugno Hospital to create a scientific protocol which will be sent to AIFA (Italian Medicines Agency), where it will be evaluated and eventually, if the conditions are met, brought into force.

Traduzione di Michael Guggenbichler