Medscape: Recombinant IFN plus antivirals may boost COVID-19 recovery versus traditional IFN

UC expert points out weaknesses in the research

Reuters Health, as reported by Medscape, published a story on research out of China showing that in patients with moderate to severe COVID-19, recombinant super-compound interferon (rSIFN-co) plus baseline antivirals was associated with a shorter time to clinical improvement than the same regimen using traditional interferon-alpha. Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine was one of the experts who reacted to the study.

a male doctor in a white lab coat standing in a lab reviewing some files

Carl Fichtenbaum, MD, of the Division of Infectious Diseases at the UC College of Medicine/Photo/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

"The study shows a minimal benefit to the re-engineered version of interferon alfa. If you look at 28 days, no difference," Fichtenbaum says. "So, it was really a minor difference at days seven and 14. If you look closely at the article, by the 'ordinal scale' that most researchers use, no difference was seen. No data was presented on virologic response."

He added that more information is needed to validate the findings. 

"We need a lot more data and proof before I would use this," he says. "And the lack of a control group that got just standard of care is a big weakness of this study."

Read the full story here.

Lead image/Colleen Kelley/UC Creative + Brand

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