Amazing new Covid drug

An international trial has found an amazing reduction in mortality in seriously ill, old, fat people (the most vulnerable to Covid death).

The new drug has a fascinating mechanism.…

Whopping Mortality Benefit in Severe COVID Trial
— Oral sabizabulin showed 55% reduction in risk for death in hospitalized patients

by Ian Ingram, Managing Editor, MedPage Today, July 7, 2022

Mortality at 60 days, the international trial’s primary endpoint, was more than halved in the group assigned to investigational sabizabulin versus those randomized to placebo (20.2% vs 45.1%, P=0.0042)…Outcomes in key secondary endpoints landed in sabizabulin’s favor as well, with significantly fewer average days spent in the intensive care unit (ICU; 17 vs 31 in the placebo group), on mechanical ventilation (14 vs 29), and in the hospital (26 vs 35)…

“Sabizabulin is an orally available, novel microtubule disruptor that targets, binds, and crosslinks both the a- and ß-tubulin subunits to inhibit polymerization and to induce depolymerization of microtubules in cells,” noted Barnette and colleagues.

“Microtubules are intracellular transport structures critical for coronavirus cellular entry, trafficking, replication, and egress as well as for triggering the innate inflammatory response and cytokine storm responsible for ARDS, septic shock, and frequently death,” the group added… [end quote]

Neat, huh?

First, notice the extremely high mortality rate of 45% in the control group of this trial. The patients were selected to be very sick to start with. Almost all were already on oxygen. Most had serious co-morbidities and were at high risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) or death. By comparison, mortality rates at similar time points among the control arms of trials involving hospitalized COVID-19 patients have ranged from 7.8% in ACTT-2, 15.2% in ACTT-1, to 25.7% in the control group of the segment of the RECOVERY trial that led to dexamethasone being established as a standard treatment in this setting. The high mortality rate of the control group in this new trial shows how much sicker they were on average.

Sabizabulin appears to be snatching patients out of the jaws of death itself.

How does it work?

Cells contain many tiny organelles which are dedicated little factories for various cell processes (e.g. mitochondria, ribosomes, etc.) which need to move molecules from one place to another. The cytosol (the gel that fills the cell) is rather hard to move through. The cell contains a network of microtubules that act like roads to help transport molecules and other items around the cell.…

Microtubules are important in bringing the coronavirus into the cell, assembling new copies of virus, and bringing the new viruses to the outside of the cell.

The new drug disrupts the assembly of new microtubules that the virus needs to enter and assemble new viruses. It can also disrupt existing microtubules. Not surprisingly, there were many adverse events.

The mortality advantage in the U.S. branch of the trial was 55% but unfortunately they didn’t report vaccination status.

Hard to say how long it will take to get approval, rev up manufacturing and bring this new drug into widespread clinical use.




The drug is very promising. I read about it yesterday in the times. I think the trial was very small, if memory serves, some 134 people perhaps. The company is filing for emergency use.

Actually, a total of 204 patients were randomly assigned to treatment: 134 to sabizabulin and 70 to placebo. This was a very small trial, but worth following up.


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It stands to reason that every other virus would suffer similar result by the very nature of the virus reproduction mechanism.

As a result, this could be a key antiviral for all virus with the same cytoplasmic trafficking process.

Now, to the side-effects… kidney failure while the drug is being administered? How long does this stay in the system?

Seems like the lesser of two weevils.