Based in the southern end of Greater Buenos Aires, Argentina, Eurnekian Public Hospital recently sponsored a clinical trial targeting COVID-19 called the IVERCAR study. The sponsor was joined by other local hospitals acting as trial site organizations. With study results in, the Argentinian group has discovered that while in the control group, 58% of the participants were infected with COVID-19 during the trial, but the intervention arm (carrageenan plus ivermectin) revealed that the compound’s virucidal effects can actually protect patients against SARS-CoV-2 and serve as a sort of prophylaxis. These study results follow up on other positive results out of another randomized controlled study out of Egypt published by TrialSite last week.
This study used a combination of ivermectin (Ivercass) and iota Carrageenan. The hypothesis involving iota carrageenan comes out of a recently published study in preprint server bioRxiv found that the compound typically used as a thickening agent in food products successfully inhibited SARS-CoV-2 in cell cultures at a concentration as low as 6ug/ml.
Numerous case series in hospitals and health centers around the world have revealed the potential of ivermectin. A few random controlled trials have been completed and published in TrialSite. Medical journals have exhibited little interest in any ivermectin research based on observations thus far.
PharmaLetter on the Combination
In regards to the combination of ivermectin and carrageenan, recently the well-established PharmaLetter reported on the findings, confirming the potential of carrageenan, the sulfated polymer from red seaweed, as a inhibiting force against SARS-CoV-2, while quoting Vienna, Austria-based Marinomed Biotech.
Apparently, Marinomed develops carrageenan-based products. In this recent study, involving researchers from Tennessee, USA and Argentina, Marinomed Biotech’s CEO Andreas Grassauer noted, “We are extremely delighted about these results. They show that Carragelose (carrageenan) is a powerful tool to project people worldwide from being infected with COVID-19.” He continued “A prophylactic application could also sustainability optimize the protection of personnel in the healthcare system, but also in the personal care and education sector.”
The PharmaLetter also highlighted the IVERCAR study showcasing that a nasal spray combining ivermectin and carrageenan “offers a very high level of protection when used as a preventive measure.”
The IVERCAR study (NCT04425850) included two arms including a control arm and the carrageenan and ivermectin arm. The study team sought to test the hypothesis that ivermectin plus carrageenan introduce material virucidal effects that have the potential to actually reduce the contagion.
This study was observational, hence carries less weight of evidence as does the randomized controlled study TrialSite reported out of Zagazig University last week. The study, formally titled “Usefulness of Topic Ivermectin and Carrageenan to Prevent Contagion of COVID Among Healthy People and Health Personnel” had a start date of June 1, 2020 and an estimated study completion date of August 10, 2020. The study team recruited 1,195 health professionals of which 407 received no treatment and 788 self-administered ivermectin oral drops and an iota-carrageenan nasal spray five times per day over a 14 day period.
The Argentinian study team reported that the study data revealed that of the participants in the control group (e.g. not taking the study drug combination) 58% of the participants were infected with COVID-19 during the duration of the trial. The study team reported no contagions were recorded in the carrageenan and ivermectin arm, showcasing the compounds’ virucidal effects can potentially protect against COVID-19.
The study’s primary endpoint in a 30 day time period was “Reduction in contagion” for health personnel. The study team established in the protocol that the average desertion worldwide was established at 27%. The study team established that the aim would be to “reduce dramatically” and assuming these claims are factual the results are striking. Out of 788 self-administered from the intervention arm, not one person fell ill to SARS-CoV-2.
The team also reported that “both molecules accumulate in the salivary glands, so they have the potential to prevent viral spread by asymptomatic patients by inactivating the viral particles in the saliva.”
Research Sponsor and Sites
The responsible party listed in Clinicaltrials.gov is Hector E. Carvallo of Eurnekian Public Hospital while other parties associate with the results included Argentina’s Hospital Zonal General de Agudos, Hospital Municipal Angel Marzetti, Hospital Curenca Alta and Centro Medico Caseros.
Hector E. Carvallo, Eurnekian Public Hospital
Call to Action: TrialSite is currently reaching out to potential parties in Argentina for an interview.