Early positive result for anti-Covid medicine; Bigger test set to start
Leiden pharmaceutical company Pharming Group is expanding its testing of a medicine that may work against serious Covid-19 symptoms. The initial test of medicine Ruconest on five patients had "encouraging results", a spokesperson for the company said to NU.nl on Tuesday.
Ruconest is already sold in Europe and the United States. It is used to treat symptoms that are somewhat similar to Covid-19 symptoms. "It is used for sudden swelling caused by leakage of vessels due to a lack of a certain substance," the Pharming spokesperson explained to the newspaper. "This creates an acute inflammatory attack, which causes swelling that is very painful and can be fatal." That leakage of vessels is similar to what happens in the lungs of Covid-19 patients.
The medicine "makes the immune system work very hard", the spokesperson said. In a small trial with five coronavirus patients that developed severe pneumonia, Ruconest fairly quickly had a positive effect on four patients. The positive effect took a bit longer for the fifth patient, but still happened.
Ruconest will now be tested in Switzerland on up to 150 Covid-19 patients with severe symptoms.