Treatment hope for diabetic patients who develop COVID-19
Doctors at the Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals, part of Barts Health NHS Trust, are leading a national trial that will offer people with type 1 or 2 diabetes who are admitted for COVID-19 treatment an additional therapy.
The drug, AZD1656, was originally developed by Astra Zeneca as an anti-diabetic agent. But it has not become a standard treatment for the control of blood sugars as its benefits tend to wear off after several months.
However, it is thought to have additional effects on the immune system and so has been studied in kidney transplant patients with diabetes in the ADOPTION study, which has been open for a year.
The ARCADIA study, which has opened more recently, is assessing if the drug has benefits for diabetes patients with COVID.
A third of deaths in hospitals in England has been associated with diabetes, as a result of such patients typically having problems with high blood sugar levels.
Dr Kieran McCafferty, consultant nephrologist at Barts Health NHS Trust and CRN North Thames Kidney Disorders Specialty Lead, who is leading the trial, said: “We know that the outcomes are worse for patients with diabetes who develop COVID-19 and, as we see the number of infections rise again, is vitally important that we explore all treatments that may help save lives.”