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Tuesday July 21, 2020 – There is light at the end of the tunnel for patients with Covid-19 after Kenya started testing a Coronavirus drug.

Kenya is one of the two African countries that have started clinical trials for a drug that might be the cure to Coronavirus that has caused thousands of deaths globally in addition to an economic meltdown.

The results of the study are expected in three months’ time, and will evaluate the efficacy and safety of Roche’s medicine, Actemra (tocilizumab), in the treatment of Covid-19 associated pneumonia in hospitalised patients.

The research was initiated by Genentech, a member of the Roche Group, in the United States in May 2020.

Ten patients have already been enrolled at the Clinical Research Unit of the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.

“Our people in Roche are working day and night with the aim of developing, manufacturing and supplying key tests and medicines where they are needed most.”

“We are so glad to see the first Kenyan patients put on the EMPACTA trial,” said Dr Beatrice Nyawira, Medical Director, Roche Kenya Ltd.

 “Disparities and lack of diversity in medical research hold the global community back, and Roche Kenya is proud to help close this gap,” she added.

The drug is expected to work on the body’s immune system by inhibiting interleukin-6 receptors to prevent pneumonia that has been characteristic of patients infected with Covid-19.


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