New COVID-19 and diabetes drug set for clinical trial
A new drug developed for people infected with COVID-19 who also have diabetes is set to be tested on humans this week in Britain, it has been announced.
The AstraZeneca-made drug called AZD1656 is set to be trialled to see if it can reduce the risk of serious illness or death among those with diabetes who become infected with coronavirus.
The announcement will be welcomed among the diabetes community as a series of studies have shown people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes face up to three times the risk of dying if they catch COVID-19.
NHS research has suggested that people with type 1 diabetes have a more than three times higher risk of death with COVID-19 than a healthy person, and those with type 2 diabetes are twice as likely to die.
The drug in question is called a glucose kinase activator and it is designed to reduce blood sugar levels and is currently still in clinical trial phases for use on type 2 diabetes and those with kidney transplants.
It will be trialled on up to 150 people with COVID-19 from NHS hospitals over the next four months.
The coronavirus trial ARCADIA is being run with the help of the British medical research charity St George Street.
Speaking to the MailOnline, CEO of the organisation, David Tapolczay, said: “Given the current crisis, we have paused all our current research programmes to focus totally on this clinical trial and evaluate this potentially life-saving new drug.
“Our charity was set up to accelerate the delivery of treatments to patients and this ethos is needed now more than ever before. We want to do everything in our power to ensure patients recover from this terrible virus.”
AstraZeneca has also revealed it is now injecting volunteers with its new antibody treatment for COVID-19 in a bid to see if it will protect people and also help those who are already ill.