Researchers at Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital announced that they may have found a cure for the novel coronavirus after seeing incredibly positive results in using a newly developed drug in preliminary trials. Though vaccines for COVID-19 have begun their roll-outs across the globe, doctors are still searching for better ways to treat those who have already been infected or might get infected before receiving a vaccine.
According to YNet News, Professor Nadir Arber from the Integrated Cancer Prevention Center had long been working on developing a medication to treat the virus and its often more dangerous side effects. Once ready, Arber tested it on patients in both moderate and serious conditions.
The medication had a dramatic effect, with a 95 percent positive result. Out of the 30 patients who were given the drug, 29 showed a significant improvement within 48 hours. Those who quickly recovered were all discharged from the hospital within five days. The last person also benefited from the drug, though her recovery took a few days longer than the others.
According to Arber, the medication is inexpensive to produce and only needs to be given once daily over the course of five days. He has named it EXO-CD24 and hopes to continue clinical trials in the hope that it can soon be legitimized and help more people across the globe.
Already, several medical breakthroughs since the beginning of the pandemic have substantially changed how doctors treat COVID-19 and have helped stem the number of deaths despite the continued rise in infections. For example, new steroid treatments have helped decrease fatality rates by around one-third for patients on ventilators and by one-fifth for those on oxygen, per the BBC.
An article published in Stat News laid out just how much of an impact a remedy for COVID-19 could be.
"A hypothetical treatment... that can cut the need for hospitalization by 50 percent would result in 285,000 fewer admissions for COVID-19 and up to 71,000 fewer deaths by the end of 2021, assuming that 20 percent of the population becomes infected and half of those with symptoms get the treatment," the outlet stated.
"A hospital-based treatment for COVID-19 that can reduce the length of stay and mortality by 30 percent could save up to 85,000 live."In addition, the authors noted that a cure for the coronavirus will also likely be effective for a number of other diseases, saving even more lives.
"More realistically, we will need to manage COVID-19, and possibly other novel viruses, for years to come. A vital tool will be effective treatments," the paper concluded.
The most recent statistics have claimed that the coronavirus has infected around 105 million people worldwide in addition to claiming 2.3 million lives.