UNC COVID-19 treatment sees positive results in mice; human study underway

Coronavirus

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – UNC Health researchers reported seeing positive results for a potential COVID-19 treatment that comes in the form of a pill.

The therapeutic, EIDD-2801, is reported to be effective in not just treating an infection but preventing it as well.

“The results in the models that we tested are so impressive that we are very hopeful for the clinical results in a humans. It would be a great advance and a great contribution,” said Dr. Victor Garcia, a professor of medicine at UNC Chapel Hill.

These results come from a study conducted in mice. Researchers implanted them with human lung tissue to replicate what happens when humans become infected.

Results from the study showed the therapeutic may be able to treat people infected with other coronaviruses.

“We were able to show that we have one model in which we can study human pathogenic coronavirus, so SARS, MERS, CO-V2, all in one system,” said Dr. Angela Wahl, assistant professor of medicine at UNC Chapel Hill.

Phase two and three human clinical trials are currently underway. Wahl said results from those studies should be ready in May.

Those results will then be presented to the FDA for emergency use authorization. If approved, it would become available to health care providers across the country.

The pill would not be an end-all solution for the pandemic. It does not provide long-term protection or immunity from COVID-19. It does not replace the need for vaccines.

“If one person were to contract the infection you would obviously have to treat that person. All the other people that became in close contact with this individual could also be treated with the same medication,” said Garcia.

The ideal setting for use would be somewhere like a long-term care facility or where people spend extended amounts of time in close proximity and there may have been an exposure to the virus.

Results of this study were published Tuesday. Read the entire findings here.

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