Deep Eutectic Systems on the spotlight to fight COVID-19

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Dexamethasone, a widely known steroid drug, has demonstrated, in the early results of a clinical study performed by Oxford University researchers, to reduce the risk of death for Covid-19 patients on a ventilator by 35%, and for those on oxygen by 20%. Although it does not treat the disease, because it does not have effect on the virus, it can help to manage the disease in more severe patients, being the best life-saving hope against the infection. Hence, the demand for dexamethasone has increased. Once the drug can dramatically improve Covid-19 survival for people in hospital who require oxygen or ventilation, much more lives can be saved.  The drug is readily available in hospitals and should now become "standard of care" in Covid-19 patients on ventilators or oxygen, according to researchers.

In this context, THEDES (Therapeutic Deep Eutectic Systems) may play an important role in the fight of the disease. THEDES are systems composed of two or more compounds in which one of the components is an active pharmaceutical ingredient, whose bioavailability can be increased by the system. In a research study, carried out by Ana Rita Duarte, leader of the des.solve research lab at LAQV-REQUIMTE in FCT NOVA, in collaboration with 3B´s Research Group, it was found that THEDES based on Choline Chloride and Ascorbic Acid significantly enhance the bioavailability of dexamethasone in physiological media. This means that the therapeutic effect of dexamethasone would be more efficient when the drug is administered in specific THEDES, once it is more easily absorbed by the body. In this sense, allying dexamethasone to a specific THEDES could be of great value, not only to the fight of Covid-19, but also of other pathological conditions requiring this drug.



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