00:41 – University of Kentucky Embraces Ivermectin & Other Experimental Medications in ‘Pick-the-Winner’ COVID-19 Trial: Clinical leaders from the University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center College of Medicine and College of Pharmacy are now embarking on a novel path to investigate #COVID-19 therapies. In a first in the United States, a major academic medical center has taken on Ivermectin as an experimental therapy targeting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19—along with azithromycin and camostat mesilate. These drugs all could potentially inhibit replication of SARS-CoV-2. All three of these therapies will be tested alone or in combination with the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine. In a “pick-the-winner” trial, innovation and pragmatic experimentation meet clinical research collaboration in the Bluegrass State.
00:42 – Contact Tracing India-Style: Despite the Risks of COVID-19, Privacy Advocates are Concerned: Countries moving to pivot out of the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. Many turn to various strategies involving testing and contact tracing schemes to not only contain infections, but also track and mitigate risk moving forward. Hence a number of nations have established mobile tracing app initiatives from China and Singapore to EU members and Australia. For example—in America, Apple and Google have come together to develop a software app solution designed to on the one hand introduce contact tracing features, but on the other hand preserve user privacy and prevent government intrusion. However The approach in India has some privacy advocates alarmed as data privacy laws are lax and sweeping orders impose mandatory downloads for many. In the country of 1.3 billion, a government-run smartphone app utilizes location service and a central database to evaluate infection risk, but critics warns of the danger civil liberties, as those who do not comply risk punishment from authorities.
09:06 – Does the BCG Vaccine Blunt the Effects of COVID-19? Texas A&M Chancellor Makes an Investment to Find out: In our final story for this Episode of the Weekly Round-up, Researchers have noted an interesting possible association: as the COVID-19 spread the morbidity and mortality rates appeared to be lower in some developing countries where the BCG vaccine is widely used. Texas A&M investigators are recruiting hundreds of frontline medical workers to participate in a late-stage, Phase 4, clinical trial of a widely used vaccine that could blunt the effects of COVID-19. Chancellor John Sharp offered $2.5 million to help the study. The Aggie researchers are the first U.S. institution in the clinical trial to have federal clearance for testing on humans