Treatment of Covid-19: the Institut Pasteur tests a suppository

Drug marketed in Europe and having already had marketing authorization in France in the form of a suppository and in another indication, Clofoctol could be repositioned as a treatment for Covid-19. The Institut Pasteur de Lille has just received the green light to start the clinical trial.

What is this anti Covid-19 suppository?

To treat Covid-19, several drugs that are already used to treat other diseases have been proposed. This is the case with Clofoctol, an antibiotic used in the treatment of infections of the respiratory tract, mouth or ENT sphere. Withdrawn from the market in January 2005, it was sold for less than € 2 per box under the name “Octofen”.

It may well be that this drug reappears one day in pharmacies. Having received the green light from the National Medicines Safety Agency (ANSM) on June 12, 2021, the Institut Pasteur de Lille (IPL) will begin, while France is in the midst of a massive vaccination campaign against Covid-19, a clinical trial. It will be carried out on nearly 700 patients over 50, unvaccinated and showing recent symptoms of the disease.

Clofoctol: the clinical trial can begin

Since October 2020, the Institut Pasteur de Lille has been studying the effects in vitro of Clofoctol on the Sars-CoV-2 virus. He hoped to market the drug in the spring of 2021 but, in February 2021, he was refused by the national therapeutic trials steering committee and had to go back to phase II, thus delaying the planned deadlines.

In this clinical trial, half of the participants will receive a placebo while the other will receive Clofoctol as a suppository twice a day for 5 days. Guest on the set of Europe 1, Benoit Desprez, scientific director of the Institut Pasteur de Lille, declared that “ The risk of occurrence of events that would be unknown is very low “. If the Institut Pasteur de Lille manages to prove that this treatment reduces the risk of worsening Covid-19 by half, it can then apply for a marketing authorization.