As the world continues the frantic search for a cure for the dreaded Coronavirus strain responsible for the current world wide pandemic, the Montreal Heart Institute (MHI) has announced positive, clinically persuasive results from the COLCORONA clinical trial of orally administered drug, colchicine, for treating Covid-19. Colchicine is a medication used to treat gout and Behçet’s disease. In gout, it is less preferred to NSAIDs or steroids. Other uses for colchicine include the prevention of pericarditis and familial Mediterranean fever.
The contact-less, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial was conducted in an at-home setting in Canada, US, Europe, South America and South Africa. It analyzed whether colchicine could lower the risk of severe complications linked to Covid-19.
COLCORONA had approximately 4,500 Covid-19 patients who were not hospitalized at the time of enrolment and had minimum of one risk factor for Covid-19 complications.
According to the study results obtained from 4,488 patients, colchicine lowered the risk of death or hospitalizations by 21% in Covid-19 patients versus placebo, approaching statistical significance.
Furthermore, the analysis of the 4,159 Covid-19 patients receiving colchicine showed statistically significant reductions in the risk of death or hospitalization versus placebo.
In these Covid-19 patients, the drug lowered hospitalizations by 25%, the requirement for mechanical ventilation by 50% and deaths by 44%.
The Institute noted that the latest scientific discovery makes colchicine the world’s first oral drug which can be used for treating non-hospitalized Covid-19 patients.
MHI Research Center Director, Université de Montréal Medicine professor and COLCORONA trial principal investigator Dr Jean-Claude Tardif said: “Our research shows the efficacy of colchicine treatment in preventing the ‘cytokine storm’ phenomenon and reducing the complications associated with Covid-19.
“We are pleased to offer the first oral medication in the world whose use could have a significant impact on public health and potentially prevent Covid-19 complications for millions of patients.
“Our innovative research programme also proves that the Montreal Heart Institute can make rapid scientific breakthroughs in a way that is economically viable for patients by repurposing existing drugs. Colchicine treatment can aid in alleviating hospital congestion and cut down healthcare costs, the Institute noted.
Remdesivir (Veklury) is currently the only medication approved by the FDA to treat coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The approval was based on findings that hospitalized patients who got remdesivir (Veklury) recovered faster. SEE: Know All About COVID-Organics (CVO)