Greek Pharmaceutical Company Funds Clinical Study of Colchicine as a Possible COVID-19 Treatment

Αssociated Press

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, yellow, emerging from the surface of cells, blue/pink, cultured in the lab. (NIAID-RML via AP)

ATHENS - The Greek pharmaceutical company ELPEN is funding GRECCO-19, a clinical study which researches the active substance colchicine as a possible response treatment for the COVID-19 pandemic, the company said in a statement.

The results of this research against the coronavirus will signal a new day for Greece, but also for the international community, it underlined. "ELPEN is significantly reinforcing and supporting this difficult battle, proving in practice its steady and timeless commitment to the value of research. With deep faith in the scientific community of our country, the company supports this very important research effort," it stated.

ELPEN is funding the clinical study named GRECCO-19 concerning a treatment by the active ingredient colchicine. As it explained, the aim of this study is to treat and prevent complications and the development of COVID-19 disease, especially in patients with cardiovascular problems. This specific research is a Greek initiative, carried out by both Greek and foreign distinguished scientists. The GRECCO-19 study involves physicians from various specialties (Cardiologists, Pulmonologists, Infectologists) from university clinics and private hospital centers. The sponsor of the study is the Hellenic Rhythmological Society.

The study is being conducted at 24 research centers throughout Greece. The study aim the inclusion of 180 patients, 100 of whom have already been enrolled.

It is important to clarify that only the treating physician is responsible for the decision to include a patient in this research, provided that the center at which the physician operates is included in the study. The first results of the GRECCO-19 study are expected before the end of April.

Colchicine has been tried and tested for years in cardiology. It is classically described as a treatment for acute pericarditis. It has been used safely in a number of different clinical scenarios, including acute myocardial infarction, with promising results.

The team of researchers involved in this prospective, randomized with cluster planning, open labeled, controlled study of GRECCO-19 assume that colchicine may alter the response of the human body to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Such possibility could reduce or even prevent the harmful effects of the disease.

ELPEN has been manufacturing high quality pharmaceuticals for over 55 years and has long been committed to research into the development of new therapies that improve patients' quality of life. It consistently invests more than 9 pct of its annual turnover in research projects. Since 1996, with the establishment of the Research, Educational and Experimental Center (EEPK), the largest private laboratory of experimental Biomedical Research and Education in Greece, it provides the means and scope of action, proving its applied support in the research community and its work. Today, once again, ELPEN stands by the efforts made by distinguished scientists to ensure a better future for all.

This specific initiative is ELPEN’s flagship action amongst a set of corporate social responsibility actions that the company has recently undertaken, with the aim to support the National Health System and protect public health during the coronavirus pandemic.