ASCOT is currently trialing the use of two different treatment approaches, called ‘domains’. These are:
- Antiviral drugs – to stop the virus from multiplying
- Anticoagulants – blood thinning drugs to reduce the risk of clots
- Low Molecular Weight Heparin
Antiviral Drug – to stop the virus from multiplying
Nafamostat is an agent which may block the entry of SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19) into human cells. Laboratory studies have shown that nafamostat has a strong effect against SARS-CoV-2. It also has blood thinning properties which may help against the clots in the lungs seen in COVIC-19. Nafamostat has been safely used in humans for other conditions such as pancreatitis (an inflamed pancreas).
Anticoagulants – to reduce the risk of clots
Currently, all patients who are admitted to hospital with pneumonia, including COVID-19 receive a blood-thinning medication to prevent the development of blood clots in veins and in the lungs. The usual care is to give a low dose (prophylactic dose) of the anticoagulant medication to prevent these blood clots. However, there is a high risk of blood clots amongst COVID-19 patients, and therefore, giving a higher dose of a blood-thinning medication may reduce the risk of clots.
This study will be evaluating different doses of an anticoagulant called low molecular weight heparin.