Potentially groundbreaking coronavirus treatment with interferon beta protein!
Despite the caveats I'll mention below, this is one of the most exciting potential breakthroughs I've seen. IF it holds up at something like the early report's levels, it could change the math on suppression vs. mitigation in a meaningful way. (If it gets the consequences of infection down into the range of a typical flu year, it wouldn't require the levels of prevention we're doing today.)
Some BIG caveats, though. While this announcement was of a randomized double blind trial, it was very small, and the confidence interval for severe symptom reduction spans 4% to 97%. So it looks very likely that it has an impact, it's still very unclear what the scope is.
On the upside, it suggests that it may also affect survival rates and length of hospital stays, although the trial was too small to be confident about it.
This research appears to have been conducted with heavy involvement from the company that owns the treatment, we'll need to see if the effect remains when the financial incentives aren't present.
No word on cost for treatment, or timelines for approval and production ramp-up.
All in all, this could be much bigger than remdesivir, and nearly as useful as a vaccine, perhaps on a timeline similar to the earliest vaccine candidates.