Ivermectin shows ‘antiviral effect’ against COVID, Japanese company says

The test tube with the Corona virus name label is seen in this illustration taken January 29, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

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TOKYO, Jan 31 (Reuters) – Japanese trading and pharmaceutical company Kowa Co Ltd (7807.T) said on Monday that the antiparasitic drug ivermectin had shown “antiviral effect” against Omicron and other variants of the coronavirus. within the framework of joint non-clinical research.

The company, which worked with Kitasato University in Tokyo to test the drug as a potential treatment for COVID-19, did not provide further details. The original Reuters story incorrectly stated that ivermectin was “effective” against Omicron in phase III clinical trials, which are being conducted in humans.

Clinical trials are underway, but the promotion of ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19 has sparked controversy.

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Prominent vaccine skeptic Joe Rogan, whose podcast on Spotify drew protests from singers Joni Mitchell and Neil Young, has long sparked controversy with his views on the pandemic, government mandates and COVID-19 vaccines.

Rogan questioned the need for vaccines and said he used ivermectin.

The drug is not approved for the treatment of COVID-19 in Japan, and the U.S. Food & Drug Administration, World Health Organization, EU drug regulator, and Merck ( MRK.N), which manufactures the drug, warned against its use because of a lack of scientific evidence that it has a therapeutic effect. Read more

In guidance on its website dated September 2021, the FDA noted growing interest in the drug to prevent or treat COVID-19 in humans, but said it had received several patient reports that required medical attention, including hospitalization, after self-medicating with it. .

The use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19 is currently being studied in a UK trial led by the University of Oxford. The researchers said on Monday this was still ongoing and they did not wish to comment further until they had results to report. Read more

Many potential COVID-19 treatments that showed promise in test tubes, including the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine promoted by former US President Donald Trump, ultimately failed to show benefit for COVID-19 patients. once studied in clinical trials.

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Reporting by Sam Nussey and Rocky Swift Additional reporting by Jennifer Rigby in London Editing by Josephine Mason, Jan Harvey and David Goodman

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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