ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has enrolled to participate in the ‘Solidarity PLUS’ clinical trial led by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that will evaluate three potential drugs — artesunate, imatinib and infliximab — for the treatment of Covid-19 infections aiming to protect people from severe hospitalisation and death because of the pandemic.
WHO has announced that researchers and scientists from Egypt, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are joining thousands of researchers in 52 countries worldwide in the study, making up the largest global collaboration on Covid-19 research and development.
The three potential drugs were selected by a panel of experts who assess all available evidence on relevant therapeutics. The drugs have proven effectiveness in treating other life-threatening diseases. Artesunate is used for severe malaria, imatinib for specific cancers, and infliximab for diseases of the immune system, such as Crohn’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
“Covid-19 has been the most disruptive public health challenge in the past century. In less than two years, the pandemic has claimed over 4.4 million lives across the world, overwhelmed health systems, and disrupted economies and societies.
“It is critical that we find effective treatments to prevent severe hospitalisation and death caused by Covid-19. We appreciate the efforts of countries in the region in collaborating on vital global studies for the treatment of Covid-19, in the spirit of solidarity,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.
Published in Dawn, August 27th, 2021