Health Desk- June 17, 2020: Scientists are to test whether an experimental drug can prevent potentially deadly blood clots associated with Covid-19.
The trial, funded by the British Heart Foundation, will test the theory the clots are caused by a hormone imbalance triggered by coronavirus infection.
It will become one of several drugs currently being trialled to prevent the disease's worst effects.
A third of hospitalised coronavirus patients develop dangerous blood clots.
The drug, TRV027, works to rebalance hormones involved in blood pressure, water and salt.
Scientists from Imperial College London, involved in the trial, think that when the virus enters the body, it uses an enzyme as a "handle" to enter the cells.
Many of the treatments being trialled to treat Covid-19 focus on the body's inflammatory response.
But the hormonal imbalance is a "quite distinct problem" which may provide clues to the question of why some people get severely ill why others do not, says Dr David Owen, one of the study's leads.
Blood clotting could also explain why Covid-19 seems to particularly affect people who already have cardiovascular disease despite being a respiratory illness, according to the British Heart Foundation.