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Coronavirus: free drug against arthritis which speeds up the healing, but only for severe cases
THE MEDICATION used for arthritis that is giving good results in severe cases of interstitial pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus will be distributed free of charge to hospitals that request them to counter the most serious cases. Is what reads in the letter sent to the minister of Health and the Presidents of all the Regions, from the pharmaceutical company that produces the tocilizumab, Roche. The supply will be guaranteed for this period of emergency, without prejudice to the stock necessary to allow patients who receive the treatment of the condition for which it is authorised to continue to have. Its use to treat the pneumonia caused by the disease CoViD-19 (Corona Virus Disease (19) is, in fact, off-label use: does not exist, that is, clinical trials that demonstrate its efficacy against the new virus. But, following the positive results previously obtained in China and now also in Italy, on some patients, the scientific community is showing interest for its use.

The drug Tocilizumab is a monoclonal antibody designed to bind to the receptor of interleukin-6, a molecule intimately involved in the process of inflammation and is present at high levels in patients with rheumatoid arthritis or in cancer patients that have the syndrome from cytokine release following the administration of a therapy CAR-t drug acts as an anti-inflammatory: preventing the interleukin-6 binding to its receptors, reduces inflammation. Even in severe cases of interstitial pneumonia caused by CoViD-19, occurs the so-called syndrome of cytokine release, which results in a serious failure of organs and death. The drug, then, is a therapy that is not directed against the virus itself, but against one of the reactions that the body puts in place as a mechanism of defense against virus, namely the inflammatory response.
the Protocol to extend the usage Thanks to a collaboration between the National Cancer Institute, IRCCS Fondazione “Pascale” of Naples and Azienda Ospedaliera dei Colli, five days ago, the drug was used on two patients suffering from pneumonia or severe. In 24 hours, the therapy has shown excellent results: for this, a task force of experts led by Paolo Ascierto, president of the Melanoma Foundation and Director of the Oncology Unit of Melanoma, Immunotherapy of Cancer and Innovative Therapies of the National Cancer Institute, IRCCS Fondazione “Pascale” of Naples, Franco Buonaguro, director of Molecular Biology and Oncogenesis viral Pascale, Vincenzo Montesarchio, director Oncology of the Azienda Ospedaliera dei Colli", has developed a national protocol to extend the use of tocilizumab in patients infected by the coronavirus found in a critical state.
The other initiatives in Addition to the donation of the drug, the company has decided to propose to his staff a hypothesis of “voluntary jurisdiction”, that is, “lend themselves” to offer support/advice by telephone to citizenship that he had made the request, collaborating with the Civil Protection, and Voluntary Associations. In the second place, the multinational company undertakes to donate one million euros for the purchase of material useful for the management of patients in intensive care units (helmets, disposable for ventilation) and the equipment - in collaboration with the Italian Federation of Doctors of General Medicine and Cittadinanzattiva - of personal protective equipment to General practitioners (protective goggles). Finally, to come in support to young people who are asked these days by the effort of social isolation forced, in partnership with a major publisher, the company is launching the campaign “you're home, read a book,” addressed to the under 25 of the territories in which it operates: in collaboration with the Departments for Culture of Milan and Monza Brianza, will give you a book, accompanied by useful information material to raise awareness of the young generations, on the theme of the centrality of civic sense, individual and collective in a phase of a health emergency.

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