Researchers from UK's RECOVERY trial (Randomised Evaluation of COVID-19 Therapy) have claimed to have found no benefit from anti-viral HIV drug-- 'lopinavir-ritonavir' administered in patients hospitalised COVID-19 patients.
With the findings of the trial, researchers opine for a revision in the treatment guidelines for those countries where 'lopinavir-ritonavir' is being used as a potential treatment for COVID-19 patients.
The University of Oxford in a press statement said that the trial Steering Committee concluded that there is no beneficial effect of lopinavir-ritonavir in patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and closed randomisation to that treatment arm.
A total of 1596 patients were randomised to lopinavir-ritonavir and compared with 3376 patients randomised to usual care alone.
"Of these patients, 4 per cent required invasive mechcal ventilation when they entered the trial, 70 per cent required oxygen alone, and 26 per cent did not require any respiratory intervention."
"There was no significant difference in the primary endpoint of 28-day mortality (22.1% lopinavir-ritonavir vs. 21.3% usual care). The results were consistent in different subgroups of patients. Hence, there was also no evidence of beneficial effects on the risk of progression to mechcal ventilation or length of hospital stay," it said.
Peter Horby, Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Global Health in the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford, and Chief Investigator for the trial, said: "These preliminary results of RECOVERY trial show that for patients hospitalised with COVID-19 and not on a ventilator, lopinavir-ritonavir is not an effective treatment. In 100 days, the RECOVERY trial has provided results enabling change in global practice three times."
Martin Landray, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at the Nuffield Department of Population Health, University of Oxford, and Deputy Chief Investigator, said "In many countries, current guidelines recommend lopinavir-ritonavir as a treatment for COVID-19. The results from this trial, together with those from other large randomised trials, should inform revisions to those guidelines and changes to the way individual patients are treated.
When contacted Dr Arvind Kumar, Chairman at the Centre for Chest Surgery and Director at the Institute of Robotic Surgery of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, he said: "In India, anti-viral HIV drug is not a part of clinical management protocol for COVID-19 patients. These drugs did have any significant improvement on patient's health. Now, it gives a stamp that it was good that we are not using lopinavir-ritonavir as a potential treatment for coronavirus."
The RECOVERY trial is world's largest randomised clinical trial to test a range of potential treatments for COVID-19. Its one arm was--anti-viral drug 'lopinavir-ritonavir'. Over 11,500 patients have been enrolled from over 176 NHS hospitals in the UK.
( With inputs from ANI )