A combination of antiviral drugs used to treat patients with HIV showed no benefit in patients hospitalized with covid-19 in a large-scale randomized study, British scientists announced today.
Scientists conducting the Recovery study at the University of Oxford said the results “convincingly rule out any significant mortality benefit from the use of lopinavir-ritonavir in the hospitalized patients with the covid-19 we studied”.
The scientists found no differences in mortality, length of stay in the hospital, or risk of needing mechanical breathing, when comparing the 1,596 patients who received lopinavir-ritonavir with the 3,376 patients in the control group.
AbbVie’s Kaletra combines lopinavir and ritonavir, used together against HIV. The company increased its inventory while assessing whether the drugs could be used to treat covid-19.
“These preliminary results show that for patients hospitalized with covid-19, breathing without the aid of ventilators, the lopinavir-ritonavir combination is not an efficient treatment,” said Peter Horby, head of the study.
Scientists have failed to draw conclusions about the effectiveness of drug combinations in patients breathing with the aid of mechanical ventilators because of the difficulty in administering the substances.
The study has examined the effectiveness of six possible treatments for covid-19, involving 11,800 patients.