Durham company says its light treatment kills COVID-19 and variants in the throat

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – As millions of Americans wait to be vaccinated, people are still being infected with COVID-19.

So methods to treat the illness remain vitally important.

“Are we better than any of those other treatments? I’m not sure but I believe that the only way that we’re going to get to pre-COVID society is with a treatment like ours in complement with the vaccine” said Neal Hunter.

Hunter is the executive chairman of EmitBio in Durham.

The company has developed a handheld device that is inserted into the mouth.

It aims precise wavelengths of targeted light at a spot in the back of the throat known as the oropharynx.

Clinical trials have shown a 99.9 percent viral load reduction of SARS-CoV-2 and MERS-CoV-2 when exposed to the company’s light technology.

Newly released data shows the same results with the more contagious South African and U.K. strains of the virus.

A relief to Hunter and his team.

“It was one of those things where you know you’re going to do it but in the back of your mind your like, ‘boy, I hope we get there.’ And now we’ve done it. It’s fantastic.”

EmitBio is seeking emergency use authorization from the FDA.

Your doctor would prescribe it and you would get it at your local pharmacy.

The take-home kit is used for 5 minutes, and later that same day the treatment is repeated.

“To have something in your home that you could use 10 minutes a day that can take care of these things I think that’s a very powerful weapon in this war,” said Hunter.

EmitBio is hoping for a decision from the FDA in the coming weeks.

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