Image credits: Myriam Zilles
News Article

Olumiant: Possible Drug to Treat Severe COVID-19 Says EMA

By Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Mon, 05/03/2021 - 15:59

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has started evaluating the use of Olumiant (baricitinib) in the treatment of COVID-19 patients over the age of 10 that require supplemental oxygen, announced the agency on its website

Olumiant is an immunosuppressant, a type of medicine that reduces the activity of the immune system, that is currently authorized to treat moderate to severe rheumatoid arthritis or atopic dermatitis (eczema) in adults, according to EMA. Olumiant blocks enzymes involved in the inflammation process and EMA wants to determine whether it could help reduce the inflammation and subsequent lung-tissue damage seen in severe COVID-19 cases.  The assessment will be carried out by EMA’s human medicines committee (CHMP) and results will be published in July 2021.

COVID-19 in Mexico

This Saturday, Mexico applied 211,647 COVID-19 vaccines. The country has applied a total of 18.33 million doses, reported El Financiero. Last Thursday, the country received 800,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine. Of those, 300,000 will be used for the administration of a first dose and 500,000 for a second dose, announced the Mexican Ministry of Health. More Sputnik V vaccines are expected to be delivered today, May 3, announced Pedro Zenteno Santaella, General Director of Biological and Reagent Laboratories of Mexico (BIRMEX), according to the Ministry of Health.

A batch of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines also arrived on that same day, which included 585,000 doses. The country has now received a total of 23.18 million doses, announced the Mexican Ministry of Health. This is the 25th batch of vaccines Mexico has received from Pfizer, making the company Mexico’s largest vaccine supplier to date. 

However, there is one pharmaceutical that has not sent a single vaccine dose directly to Mexico. According to Expansion, the country has only received AstraZeneca doses through the Serum Institute in India, the UN COVAX Mechanism and the US government. Mexico and AstraZeneca have an agreement stating that the company would deliver 77.4 million doses to the country. 

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on his Friday conference that it was likely that the US government would lend Mexico 5 million more vaccines, according to Expansion. According to the Health Ministry, Mexico received enough active substance to package about 7 million vaccines but they have yet to be released.

The data used in this article was sourced from:  
MBN, EMA, El Financiero, Ministry of Health, Expansion
Photo by:   Myriam Zilles, Unsplash
Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Jorge Ramos Zwanziger Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst