LONDON (Reuters) – Oxford University said on Wednesday it would study whether the world’s best-selling prescription medicine, adalimumab, was an effective treatment for COVID-19 patients, the latest effort to repurpose existing drugs as potential coronavirus therapies.
Adalimumab, sold by AbbVie under the brand name Humira, is a type of anti-inflammatory known as an anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNF) drug. Recent studies have shown that COVID-19 patients already taking anti-TNF drugs for inflammatory bowel disease and inflammatory arthritis are less likely to be admitted to hospital, Oxford said in a statement.
The trial, called AVID-CC, will be aimed at treating people in the community, especially in care homes, the university said. It will enrol up to 750 patients from community care settings throughout the UK.
The availability of biosimilar versions of the medicine, used for over two decades as an anti-flammatory, would make it affordable and accessible if the trial is successful,