Dexamethasone will save thousands of lives in a second peak, says professor behind trials

17 June 2020, 14:39 | Updated: 17 June 2020, 14:59

Peter Holby, co-chief investigator of the Dexamethasone trials

By Seán Hickey

One of the heads of the trials that found Dexamethasone to reduce coronavirus deaths has said it will be crucial in the event of a second peak.

Professor Peter Horby is Professor of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the University of Oxford and joined Boris Johnson at yesterday's Downing Street briefing as the co-investigator into trials of Dexamethasone, which found the drug to reduce the chance of death in coronavirus patients on breathing support.

Nick Ferrari wanted to know "if there were a second spike, how would this help in combatting that." Professor Horby told him that it would unequivocally reduce the death rates"

"We've worked out there'd be 30,000 in-hospital deaths which is roughly what the UK's experienced to date.

"If we were to experience that again we would prevent about 5,000 of those deaths using this very cheap drug" the scientist revealed.

Nick went on to simpler terms of how the drug works. Professor Horby told him that the initial observation of his team was that "various data from the first SARS outbreak in 2003 and from other respiratory viral infections that suggest that steroid treatment will help some patients" but there had "never been any adequate trial" into Dexamethasone.

Peter Horby joined the Prime Minister at the Downing Street conference yesterday
Peter Horby joined the Prime Minister at the Downing Street conference yesterday. Picture: PA

Nick wanted to know exactly the role of Dexamethasone in fighting coronavirus, which he explained "what the drug is doing is reducing the inflammation of the lungs." He was curious as to why is it only effective in severe patients.

Professor Horby told him that it "worked really well on ventilator patients, it worked pretty good on patients that needed oxygen" but didn't work at all on patients that didn't need help breathing.

"If you don't have that inflammation in the lungs obviously it can't have the effect" he concluded.

Nick asked about the studies Professor Horby's team have been carrying out on other drugs and wondered if trials will now end given they've discovered the benefits of Dexamethasone. "It will continue until we get answers for those drugs as well" the professor said.

Listen & subscribe: Global Player | Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify

More Nick Ferrari

See more More Nick Ferrari

Exclusive
Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast at Global Studios in Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2024.

James Cleverly debates Yvette Cooper on immigration | Watch Again

Yvette Cooper slammed Just Stop Oil as 'pathetic'

Yvette Cooper slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil as she brands Stonehenge stunt a 'total disgrace'

Laura Saunders, the Conservative candidate for Bristol North West

Tory candidate being investigated over alleged election date bet is 'married to Conservative Director of Campaigns'

Gambling probes into two Tory candidates are a 'betrayal of trust' in Rishi Sunak, Michael Gove has said.

Gove says election bets are ‘betrayal of Prime Minister’s trust’ as second Tory candidate investigated by regulator

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer during LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

'We would seek a better agreement' Keir Starmer tells LBC where he thinks "botched" Brexit deal can be improved

Exclusive
Sir Keir Starmer speaks to LBC

‘No magic wand’ to recruit more teachers as Starmer insists removing ‘tax breaks’ for private schools is ‘tough choice’

Tom Weatherall is still searching for his treasured medals which went missing in France

Renewed plea for missing medals lost in France as RAF veteran gifted with set of replicas

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implimented'

'Economically Brexit's working': Nigel Farage says but claims it has 'not been properly implemented'

Nigel Farage says Germans should 'get a sense of humour' amid calls for football fans who chant 'Ten German Bombers' to be prosecuted

Nigel Farage says Germans need to 'get a sense of humour' if football fans sing Ten German Bombers chant

Nigel Farage in the LBC studio today and (right) on the Reform UK campaign bus in Barnsley, South Yorkshire this week

'This is how ordinary people speak': Farage defends Reform UK candidates after anti-Islam and far-right comments exposed

Exclusive
Tory Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride was put on the spot by an LBC listener from a "Blue Wall" constituency rained down a barrage of complaints about soaring mortgages, the NHS crisis, crumbling schools and roads, and dentist shortages.

'Why would anyone sane vote for the Tories?': Minister put on the spot with barrage of complaints from LBC listener

Mr Weatherall's lost medals

Nick Ferrari offers £500 reward for return of RAF veteran's medals lost yesterday in Ranville, France

Kemi Badenoch rules out serving alongside Nigel Farage after he hints at Tory takeover.

Nigel Farage 'wants to destroy the Conservative Party', Kemi Badenoch tells LBC

'We've got to give these people justice': Ministers vow to address any criminal wrongdoing in infected blood report

'We've got to give these people justice': Ministers vow to address any criminal wrongdoing in infected blood report

'Minuscule state' of RAF is 'utterly pathetic' meaning just one plane available for D-Day 80th anniversary parachute jumps

'Minuscule state' of RAF is 'utterly pathetic' with just one plane available for D-Day 80th anniversary parachute jumps