Kenya begins trials for coronavirus drug

10 patients enrolled in program

Kenya has begun clinical trial for a drug that might be the cure to coronavirus.

Ten patients have been enrolled at the Clinical Research Unit of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the United States initiated the treatment with trials aimed at South Africa, Kenya, Brazil, Mexico and Peru.

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve rapidly in Kenya and around the world and Roche is doing everything we can to contribute. Our people are working day and night with the aim of developing, manufacturing and supplying key tests and medicines where they are needed most. We are so glad to see Kenyan patients on the EMPACTA trial," said Dr. Beatrice Nyawira, Medical Director, Roche Kenya Ltd.

Background on EMPACTA

EMPACTA is a Phase III, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter study (EMPACTA, NCT04372186) to evaluate the efficacy and safety of Actemra in the treatment of COVID-19 associated hospitalised pneumonia in patients that are often underrepresented in clinical trials.

How the Drug Works

The drug is expected to work on the body’s immune system to prevent pneumonia that has been a characteristic of patients infected with Covid-19.

Covid-19 patients who had pneumonia and are in need of oxygen will be eligible to participate.

Covid 19 status in Kenya

The coronavirus infections have been soaring in Kenya since the reopening of the economy three weeks ago averaging 400 new cases per day.

As of Monday , 246361 people had been tested for Covid 19 in the country since the first case was announced, 13, 771 have tested positive for the disease, 238 people have succumbed to the virus while 5616 patients have recovered.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has convened an extraordinary summit with the Governors on Friday due to the surge in Covid 19 cases.

"The Session has been convened following a surge of Covid-19 infections across our Nation; with the disease having now manifested in 44 of our 47 counties," part of the statement by State House spokesperson Kanze Dena read.

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