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Drug Could Eradicate COVID-19 From Lungs In Days

3 years, 11 months ago

24563  0
Posted on Jul 17, 2020, 2 p.m.

IMAGE: Lung cells infected with coronavirus Credit: Yaakov Nahmias

According to the research team their recent study is showing how this coronavirus controls metabolism and which already FDA approved drugs could stop SARS-CoV-2 and render it no worse than the common cold. 

Mount Sinai Medical Center New York and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers believe that they could potentially downgrade the severity of COVID-19 into nothing more worse than a common cold, thanks to new research revealing that the FDA approved drug Fenofibrate (Tricor) could reduce the SARS-CoV-2 virus’ ability to reproduce or even make it disappear. 

“Viruses are parasites,” Hebrew University Prof. Ya’acov Nahmias explained to The Jerusalem Post. “They cannot replicate themselves. They cannot make new viruses. They have to get inside a human cell and then hijack that cell.”

Nahmias and Sinai’s Dr. Benjamin TenOever have been working the past 3 months studying what SARS-CoV-2 is doing to human lung cells, and found that it prevents the routine burning of carbohydrates which results in large amounts of fat accumulating inside lung cells, which is a condition that this virus needs to reproduce. 

“By understanding how the SARS-CoV-2 controls our metabolism, we can wrestle back control from the virus and deprive it from the very resources it needs to survive,” Nahmias said, noting that it also may help explain why patients with high blood sugar and cholesterol levels are often at a particularly high risk to develop COVID-19.

The researchers reviewed a panel consisting of 8 already approved drugs that might interfere with the ability of the virus to reproduce. It was observed that Tricor caused the cells to start burning fat, the result of this was that the virus almost completely disappeared within just 5 days of treatment, according to Nahmias. 

“Our findings may indeed significantly reduce the global burden of COVID-19,” Dr. TenOever said as quoted by outlet Globes.

"With second-wave infections spiking in countries across the globe, these findings couldn't come at a better time," said Nahmias, and global cooperation may provide the cure. "The collaboration between the Nahmias and TenOever labs demonstrates the power of adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to study SARS-CoV-2 and that our findings could truly make a significant difference in reducing the global burden of COVID-19," TenOever added.

Their study is being published in Cell Press’s Sneak Peak, and their work is funded by the Nikoh Foundation, the Sam and Rina Frankel Foundation, and the European Research Council. At Mount Sinai the team is advancing to animal studies, and the researchers are hoping to fast track clinical studies in America and Israel within the next few weeks since the drug has already been proven to be safe. 

"If our findings are borne out by clinical studies, this course of treatment could potentially downgrade COVID-19's severity into nothing worse than a common cold," Nahmias concluded.

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IMAGE: Lung cells infected with coronavirus Credit: Yaakov Nahmias

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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.

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