Efforts to develop at-home pills to tackle Covid-19 could be hindered by ‘poor’ development of antiviral drugs

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he development of antiviral drugs which could be used to tackle Covid-19 has been “really poor” and could hinder efforts to find an ‘at home’ treatment, the head of the world’s largest coronavirus clinical trial has warned.

Professor Peter Horby, who set up the UK’s Recovery Trial and is a member of the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said more investment is needed to produce medicine capable of treating those infected.

To date, clinicians have largely relied on repurposed medicine – such as dexamethasone and tocilizumab – to treat the overactive immune responses triggered by Covid infection which can lead to hospitalisation.

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