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February 02, 2023

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Revive Therapeutics (RVV.C) out there solving COVID-19 variant problem

The COVID-19 pandemic and variant friends are almost securely in our rear-view for another year and soon the beaches will be full of people and the papers will be full of people complaining about how nobody respects social distancing.

Then before you can say the word Biontech we’ll be pulling out our masks again and everyone will look askance at you when you’re out in public in case you’re carrying the next variant of the disease. And this is going to go on for awhile. I’ve heard this from a number of different sources, but we’re not going to start looking for a ‘new normal’ or enter into a post-pandemic way of thinking until we can reduce the risk of this virus to something approximating the common flu.

We’re not there yet. So that’s why we have Revive Therapeutics (RVV.C) and other companies still doing tests on drugs like Bucillamine to try and find an alternative or a treatment to what’s been pushed out there by the big companies.

Specifically, RVV is in a Phase 3 clinical trial, sanctioned by the FDA, to determine if Bucillamine is safe and effective. Bucillamine is an oral drug with anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties, and they’re testing it on patients with mild to moderate COVID-19. It’s also worthwhile mentioning that RVV has taken their time.  They weren’t part of the big push to get a vaccine out there on the market long before all the tests could be performed like what’s presently floating around in most of our bloodstreams.

Maybe it will be enough.

“With the emergence of BA.2 and other possible variants coming we feel there is still a vital need for a strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant oral drug to coincide with other treatments,” said Michael Frank, CEO of Revive Therapeutics.

BA.2 is a sub-variant of the Omicron variant, and has now become dominant globally. According to the World Health Organization, it represents 86% of all sequenced cases. It was first detected in January and it’s even more transmissible than its original Omicron variants, BA.1 and BA.1.1.

And this is basically our lives now. The Omicron variant of the COVID-19 was a superspreader but with low mortality, and apparently this one is a superspreader with stealth capabilities.

“A missing gene in BA.1 allowed it to be tracked by default through a common PCR test. BA.2 and another sibling, BA.3 – also increasing in prevalence but currently at low levels – can only be found by genomic sequencing.

Even though BA.2 is more infectious than other Omicron sub-variants, according to studies, evidence suggests so far that it is not more likely to cause severe disease,” according to Al Jazeera.

This isn’t good news for us. This disease is going to be with us in some form for the rest of our lives. But it represents a significant opportunity for companies like Revive, who can develop treatments to fight and inoculate against it. That’s what it’s trying to do.

The study is targeting clinicals sites operated by MLP Care, the largest hospital group in Turkey, as well as Istinye University, which has access to 30 clinical research sites and over 6000 in-patient beds. They intend to complete full enrolment by Q2, 2022, and submit study data for 800 subjects to the data safety monitoring board to seek their approval to proceed with an Emergency Use Authorization package to the FDA.

—Joseph Morton

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