Ineffective against Covid-19, would ivermectin make a comeback thanks to the favor of the Omicron variant?
This is what the title of a dispatch from the Reuters agency suggests, widely relayed on social networks.
Problem, this dispatch was then modified and its title corrected.
A Japanese laboratory has indeed observed an “antiviral effect” of ivermectin against the Omicron variant, but in vitro.
The study in humans is still ongoing.
Those carried out in the past on the previous variants have not demonstrated clinical benefits.
"Japanese Kowa claims that ivermectin is effective against Omicron in a phase 3 trial." In recent days, on Twitter, several thousand Internet users have shared a screenshot of a dispatch from the press agency Researchers rehabilitating ivermectin in the treatment of Covid-19 – a treatment whose effectiveness against this disease has been ruled out by several studies in recent months.
Very viral, the assertion was taken up by several political leaders critical of vaccination and the health measures taken by the government, in particular the presidential candidates François Asselineau (Republican People's Union) or Florian Philippot (Les Patriotes ).
The Japanese Kowa laboratory has shown the "anti-viral effect" of Ivermectin against covid, including "Omicron and other variants"!
Picked up by Reuters.
➡️ This info will weigh heavy, very heavy, in the trials to come!
— Florian Philippot (@f_philippot) February 1, 2022
Problem: the dispatch from Reuters is based on a misinterpretation of the results of the Japanese laboratory, the article having since been modified.
We remake the film of the events.
On Monday January 31, the Japanese laboratory Kowa Co Ltd, in collaboration with the University of Tokyo Kitasato, published a press release evoking "an antiviral effect" of the drug against the Omicron variant.
Here is what we can read in the press release: “Kowa Co., Ltd.
is studying the drug “ivermectin” in phase 3 clinical trials (development code: K-237) for the treatment of novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)”.
To fully understand, phase 3 of a study consists of comparing a drug to the usual existing treatment or to a placebo, as we explained in a previous article.
An error recognized by Reuters
Following the publication of the press release, the Reuters news agency published a first dispatch under the following title: “Japanese Kowa indicates that ivermectin is effective against the Omicron variant in a phase 3 trial.” But the dispatch is then corrected.
The title is replaced by this: “Ivermectin shows an “antiviral effect” against Covid-19, says a Japanese laboratory.
And the British agency to specify in the updated version: “The original Reuters article incorrectly indicated that ivermectin was “effective” against Omicron in phase 3 clinical trials”.
CORRECTION: Japan's Kowa said anti-parasite drug ivermectin showed an 'antiviral effect' against Omicron and other variants of coronavirus in joint non-clinical research.
The @WHO has warned against its use https://t.co/kBgUxaYjaL We will delete a tweet with a misleading headline pic.twitter.com/gX535ttNd3
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 31, 2022
What happened ?
As the second version of the dispatch explains, the antiviral effect of ivermective noted by Kowa relates to a “non-clinical” research phase.
Translation by doctor Olivier Joannes-Boyau, head of the anesthesia-resuscitation center at the Bordeaux University Hospital, on his Twitter account: “It is only an in vitro antiviral effect, therefore not clinical, nothing new.
No clinical results yet.
Kowa's press release specifies that a phase 3 study is well underway to assess the efficacy of invermectin "in patients with mild Covid-19".
But the end of the study is estimated at March 31, 2022. It is therefore not possible, for the moment, to draw conclusions on the effectiveness of ivermectin outside of a laboratory.
"Dangerous to humans" at certain doses
As Reuters recalls, the antiparasitic drug is not approved either in Japan or by international organizations such as the World Society Organization (WHO) or the European Medicines Agency (EMA) to fight the coronavirus.
In its press release, the Japanese laboratory Kowa even indicates: “It has been reported that patients use ivermectin at dosages intended for animals, which is dangerous for humans.
Although the question comes up regularly on social networks, no clinical study has demonstrated the real effectiveness of Ivermectin against Covid-19.
Several studies relayed by supporters of this treatment were then questioned for their lack of reliability.
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A fault ?