The Pandemic continues to draw headlines. Each time we make decisions about our ongoing situation, something changes and we need to re-evaluate. Do we continue to wear masks? Can we ever plan a vacation? Should we attend a party? When will refreshments be returned to Church and Synagogue?
Much of what has been written recently has been about the Omicron variant. However, if you want to figure out where the epidemic takes us next, you will need to look elsewhere. That would require us to follow the new medicines coming out to relieve symptoms, and even cure the disease.
Perusing available public information, it would be hard to conclude that things are staying the same. There are at least seven drugs (or categories of drugs), which either are already approved or in the process of final testing, which will go a long way to relieving symptoms or even cure a person of Covid 19. Briefly here they are:
1. Regen-Cov: Uses mono-clonal antibodies which attacks the coronavirus and prevents it from invading cells. It was approved in August 2021. People who were exposed and took this medicine reduced symptomatic infection by 80%. It is manufactured by Regeneron.
2. Paxlovid: An “antiviral.” Antivirals can stop viruses such as H.I.V. and Hepatitis C from hijacking our cells. In November, Pfizer announced that it cut the risk of hospitalization and death by 89% when given within three days after the start of symptoms. It applied for emergency use authorization four weeks ago and is already available for compassionate use.
3. Molnupiravir: Another antiviral, it was given emergency use authorization on November 30, 2021 for patients that are high risk. Produced by Merck, it reduces the risk of hospitalization or death by 50%.
4. Dexamethasone: uses steroids, the most severe symptoms of CoVid-19 are the result of the immune system’s over reaction to the virus. It is currently available but only recommended for use for patients on a ventilator or severely compromised inhalation. Drugs like this have reduced ventilator deaths by one third.
5. Anti-inflammatory treatments: These drugs are already approved for other things and are being used “off label” One of these drugs, Infliximab is currently well regarded for the past twenty years as a successful intravenously administered treatment and is manufactured by Johnson and Johnson.
6. EXO-CD24: A steroid taken via inhalation. It is manufactured by Bonus BioGroup in Israel. In February 2021, they announced that 31 out of 35 hospitalized patients were discharged from the hospital in three to five days. The estimated completion date of their latest study is July 2022.
7. Allocetra: An immunotherapy medication that reprograms malfunctioning immune cells. It is manufactured by Enlivex, an Israeli company, to treat organ disfunction and acute multiple organ failure associated with Sepsis and CoVid-19. Nine severe and seven critical CoVid-19 patients were treated in their Phase II trials. Fourteen out of the 16 recovered and were discharged from the hospital in an average of 5.3 days. It is currently in Phase IIB testing.
8. Evusheld is not a treatment for CoVid-19 but an anti-body cocktail to keep people whose immune system is too weak to receive the vaccine safe from the virus. It was approved by the FDA in December 2021, and is manufactured by Astrazeneca . The government has purchased 700,000 doses.
Dr. Fauci is too smart to make predictions about the epidemic. As a Financial advisor, however, it is necessary for me to have opinions and to advise clients who would like to make plans and know what to do generally. From where I am sitting right now, it does not appear that the disease is going away soon, nor is it likely that millions of unvaccinated people will get vaccinated. However, in my opinion, based upon the information summarized above, the US death count – currently averaging over 1,300 per day – will decline by 80% or more, before the end of 2022.
I reserve the right to adjust my opinion over time based upon information then current. I do not wish to be held responsible to any reader for acting upon my opinion.
Please be advised that I hold a position in Enlivex – listed as item 7 above. I do not recommend purchase and advise that this should be considered a “high risk” stock.
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making a decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Robert Lankin and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct.