Did Kowa and Kitasato University prove that ivermectin has antiviral effect against the Omicron variant, and all other strains of COVID-19?
Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!
Claim : Ivermectin Has Antiviral Effect vs. Omicron + All Other Strains!
This viral post claims that a Kowa and Kitasato University study just proved that ivermectin has antiviral effect against Omicron and all other mutant strains of COVID-19!
The creators of this viral post also pointed out that this news was written by Reuters. It’s a long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts!
Note : I removed the two links in the original message because they lead to fake news websites.
Ivermectin Has No Clinical Antiviral Effect vs. Omicron + All Other Strains!
This is yet another piece of fake news created by ivermectin proponent and antivaxxers, and here are the reasons why…
Fact #1 : Reuters Screwed Up
Reuters screwed up their reporting, and ivermectin proponents and antivaxxers quickly made use of that.
Reuters published their piece with the title, “Japan’s Kowa says ivermectin effective against Omicron in phase III trial“.
They compounded their mistake by promoting it as such in Twitter :
Japanese trading and pharmaceutical company Kowa Co Ltd said on Monday anti-parasite drug ivermectin has been found effective for treating the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in a Phase III trial.
The truth is Reuters misrepresented the Kowa press release. Reuters later corrected their story, but the damage was done.
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
Fact #2 : It Was A Non-Clinical Trial
In their press release, Kowa triumphantly reported that their study with Kitasato University showed that ivermectin has an “antiviral effect” against the Omicron variant.
However, that was a non-clinical trial – a lab study. Basically, they ran “test tube” studies of ivermectin on Omicron samples in the lab.
Just for context, a non-clinical trial (also called pre-clinical trial) is often conducted before actual clinical trials on human volunteers.
That’s because clinical trials are expensive and difficult to conduct, consisting of multiple phases :
- Phase 1 : To study safety and dosage in healthy volunteers
- Phase 2 : To study efficacy and side effects in a small group of volunteers with the disease
- Phase 3 : To demonstrate that the drug has clinical benefits in a large group of volunteers, and look for adverse reactions.
- Phase 4 : To ensure safety and efficacy after approval by health authorities.
What Kowa did is nowhere close to an actual clinical trial, much less a Phase 3 trial.
Fact #3 : Non-Clinical Results Do Not Mean Clinical Effects
It is important to point out that most successful non-clinical drug tests do not end up delivering safe and/or useful drugs that deliver clinical benefits.
That’s because many drugs that work well in the lab either do not deliver clinical benefits in actual human beings, or only work at doses toxic to human beings, or introduce adverse effects when taken at the required doses.
That is why it is critical for all drugs to undergo clinical trials.
I should also point out that soap and alcohol have both been proven to destroy the SARS-CoV-2 virus in lab tests. But that does not mean drinking or eating soap or alcohol will prevent or cure COVID-19.
Read more : Soap vs Sanitiser : Which Works Better Against COVID-19?
Fact #4 : Kowa Confirmed Reuters’ Mistake
Kowa told Newsweek – “We sincerely apologise for any confusion. The press release announced that ivermectin was effective against [the] Omicron strain on in vitro study (i.e. non-clinical study), not in the clinical study. Presumably the original content was replaced with incorrect information in the process of translation.”
Fact #5 : Omicron Variant Is Still A SARS-CoV-2 Virus
The Kowa lab test is nothing special – ivermectin was first shown to work against the SARS-CoV-2 in lab experiments by Monash University back in April 2020.
The only difference was Kowa tested it against the Omicron variant. But because the Omicron variant is still a SARS-CoV-2 virus, it would have the same results as previous lab tests.
In other words – the Kowa lab test and press release were basically marketing fluff. In that respect, they scored big.
Fact #6 : Kowa Is Conducting A Phase 3 Trial
Kowa is conducting a Phase 3 trial of their 3 mg ivermectin tablet called K-237 (ClinicalTrial NCT05056883).
It will involve 1000 volunteers, half of whom will receive 0.3 to 0.4 mg/kg of their K-237 drug, once daily for 3 days.
This Phase 3 trial is not expected to be completed until 31 March 2022. That does not necessarily mean it will be successfully completed on time.
After all, Kitasato University’s own CORVETTE-01 Phase 2 study of ivermectin took a year to recruit just 214 volunteers, and has not even concluded despite kicking off in January 2021.
Read more : Did Japan use ivermectin to successfully control COVID-19?
Fact #7 : I-TECH Study Showed No Clinical Benefit
One of the most recent randomised clinical trials of ivermectin was the I-TECH study involving 490 volunteers.
Like many previous clinical trials, it showed that despite ivermectin demonstrating effectiveness in lab tests, it has no obvious clinical benefits.
Read more : I-TECH Study : Does Ivermectin Work Against COVID-19?
|Symptom Recovery by Day 5||Very similar||Not significant (p=0.77)|
|Progress to Severe COVID-19||IVM : 21.2%
SOC : 17.3%
|SOC : -3.9 points
Not significant (p=0.30)
|Time to Severe COVID-19||IVM : 3 days (±2.3)
SOC : 2.9 days (±1.8)
|IVM : +0.1 day
Not significant (p=0.68)
|ICU Admission||NA||Not significant|
|Mechanical Ventilation||NA||Not significant|
|Symptom Recovery||NA||Not significant|
|Blood Parameters||NA||Not significant|
|Chest X-Ray Resolution||NA||Not significant|
|Adverse Events||3X more in IVM group||Significant|
|Mortality||NA||Not significant (p=0.09)|
Fact #8 : Ivermectin Clinical Studies Show No Significant Benefit
Here is a meta-analysis of ivermectin RCTs (randomised control trials), with three fraudulent studies removed – Elgazzar, Okomus and Niaee.
Results towards the left suggest a clinical benefit for ivermectin. For the I-TECH study, they used its most promising result – post-study mortality, but even that did not reach clinical significance (p<0.05)
Taken in totality, the latest meta-analysis show that the clinical effect of ivermectin on COVID-19 patients is NOT SIGNIFICANT enough to warrant its use as a treatment.
Fact #9 : Ivermectin Prophylaxis Is Not Cheap
Ivermectin proponents always claim that Big Pharma is against ivermectin because it’s dirt cheap. Ironically, they are now promoting Kowa, which itself is a member of Big Pharma.
While ivermectin is cheap to make and was cheap to buy earlier, its price has been jacked up by the very people promoting it as a cure for COVID-19.
And unlike vaccines, ivermectin is meant to be taken on a regular basis, even daily or with expensive supplements. The end result – ivermectin protocols are far more expensive than COVID-19 vaccines.
The truth is – there is far more money to be made from ivermectin protocols like I-MASK+, than COVID-19 vaccines.
Don’t believe me? Take out your calculator and do the math yourself.
Read more : Is ivermectin prophylaxis cheap? Here is what it really costs!
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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.
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