Sotiris Tsiodras, Greece’s most prominent epidemiologist who has served as the chief scientific adviser to the Greek government during the pandemic, announced on Thursday that the country will begin taking part in clinical trials of a Covid-19 treatment out of Israel.
Two hospitals in Greece will soon be taking part in the trials, which come on the heels of news out of the Pfizer corporation this week that it is testing a new pill that it hopes will cure the virus.
“We are participating in these new trials with great enthusiasm,” Tsiodras declared to reporters on Thursday. “The study utilizes a new method of transferring a new medicine, based on exosomes, nanoparticles that participate in intracellular activities,” he added.
Tsiodras made his remarks during a meeting in Athens with Israeli Professor of Medicine Nadir Arber, who is responsible for the new Covid-19 drug which was developed at the Medical Centre Ichilov in Tel Aviv.
“It is a very promising method according to the data from the clinical trials in Israel,” the Greek epidemiologist added. “We are moving forward by conducting Phase II trials here in Greece, in which we will evaluate parameters like safety, dosology, and efficacy,” he noted.
The proposed coronavirus treatment will be tested at both Sotiria and Attikon hospitals in Athens.
The American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, after its great triumph in producing the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, is now working toward developing a single pill that would work to cure Covid-19. The pill is currently in Phase One clinical trials which were announced last Tuesday in the US and Belgium and they could be available to the public by the end of the year.
A Covid-19 treatment in the works
The antiviral pill that Pfizer is developing is codenamed PF 07321332. The way it is expected to work is by targeting the “spine” of the Covid-19 virus, and therefore block it from replicating in the throats and lungs of those suffering from the virus.
This type of drug, called a “protease inhibitor,” has been used in the past to help manage the HIV epidemic. After this type of medication was first released in 1996, the annual number of deaths related to HIV in the US fell from 50,000 to 18,000 within two years.
Similar groundbreaking results are possible for Covid-19 survival rates if Pfizer’s miracle pill is deemed safe and effective after the ongoing clinical trials.
Curing Covid-19 — at home
Pfizer engineers have worked to develop this potential coronavirus cure — from scratch –over the period of the pandemic.
If the trials go as planned, the pill could be on the market by the end of this year. It would be used in a similar way to conventional treatments of a wide range of illnesses, where an individual would simply take a pill at home after the initial onset of symptoms.