Dr. Gupta has given two significant interviews with national Canadian media since the posing of this article.
His interview with Pauline Chan, Health Reporter for CTV News Toronto, can be viewed here: https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/new-drug-approved-to-treat-mild-cases-of-covid-19-1.5533911
He also spoke to Sue Deyell and Andrew Schulz of the Mornings with Sue and Andy show on Global News Radio Calgary. You can listen to the audio in podcast form here: https://omny.fm/shows/mornings-news-chqr/emergency-food-security-fund-back-to-work-issues-n?t=16m42s
A few months ago, on March 10th, a safety review board (called an Independent Data Monitoring Committee) recommended stopping the Vir- and GSK-sponsored Phase 3 “COMET-ICE” COVID-19 treatment trial early, given an 85% reduction in hospitalization or death in patients who received the experimental drug. Vir Biotechnology is a San Francisco-based company focused on immunological solutions to fight infectious diseases, and GSK (GlaxoSmithKline) is a multinational corporation headquartered in England.
This is a massive breakthrough in preventing greater loss of life related to the COVID-19 pandemic, as vaccine rollout progresses steadily in the United States and Canada.
The multi-center, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was investigating a treatment to be used in adults with mild to moderate COIVD-19 symptoms who are at risk of the virus progressing into a serious disease. “Our distinctive scientific approach has led to a single monoclonal antibody that, based on an interim analysis, resulted in an 85% reduction in all-cause hospitalizations or death, and has demonstrated, in vitro, that it retains activity against all known variants of concern, including the emerging variant from India. I believe that Sotrovimab is a critical new treatment option in the fight against the current pandemic and potentially for future coronavirus outbreaks, as well. At Vir, our aim is not only to deliver a clinically effective therapy for COVID-19, but also to provide effective therapy against SARS-CoV-2 variants and potential pandemics of tomorrow,” stated George Scangos, CEO of Vir Biotechnology.
Then on May 26th, it was announced that Sotrovimab (previously VIR-7831) had received emergency use authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in high-risk adults and pediatric patients. In April, Health Canada initiated a review of Sotrovimab under the expedited Interim Order application pathway for COVID-19 drugs. This application is still pending approval, and applications of this nature could take up to 60 days to resolve.
JoinAStudy.ca’s own Dr. Anil Gupta put an incredible amount of effort into recruiting volunteers for this study and ensuring the safety and security of all participants at his site. Their investigation and study data have been essential in showing that Sotrovimab is one of the first clinically effective treatments for COVID-19 and its variants. It can’t be stressed enough how important every study volunteer was to achieving this remarkable result. Study volunteers can make a huge difference to the level of care our health care providers can offer us, but it is not every day that volunteers contribute to saving lives in the middle of a global pandemic!
“Our clinic was heavily involved in this study, we really wanted to make a difference. We randomized 51 individuals into the study and after a while, we had a fairly good idea of which patients received the placebo vs the active drug. One of my subjects was a 95-year-old patient from my practice, who at one point was almost sent to the hospital. After enrolling in the trial, I followed up with him after 2 days and his condition had improved substantially. I am proud to be the lead author of this publication, and I want to thank Dr. Shiv Singh for his contributions in recruiting patients, as well as the members of my study team; Amisha Ghandi, Mahi Panchal and Ajay Chhabra,” stated Dr. Gupta via email.
Dr. Gupta also collaborated with the William Osler Health Centre in Brampton: patients who underwent COVID-19 testing at the hospital were informed of Dr. Gupta’s research if they tested positive and met certain other inclusion criteria based on the requirements of the study.
Following the approval of Sotrovimab by the FDA, Dr. Gupta’s research was featured in the White House COVID-19 Response Team’s update briefing on June 3rd which you can watch below.
Dr. Gupta’s success has not gone unnoticed within the global research community, as shown by his selection for three more COVID-19 investigational treatment studies. These studies along with their descriptions will all be posted in our “Current Studies” section which can be found here: https://joinastudy.ca/current-studies/