Treatment being developed in RTP could be ‘silver bullet’ for COVID-19, other illnesses, company head says

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) – Elizabeth Lattanzio knows how important treatments are for COVID-19. She, her husband, their two children, parents, and brother were all among the first in Orange County to be diagnosed with the virus.

“People were trying to figure out so many different things, and so it was absolutely scary to not know what turn the virus would take. And then not know what you should do,” Lattanzio said.

Now recovered, they’re very aware of what others are going through.

“We consider ourselves the lucky ones. We don’t seem to have any lasting effects and so we feel very thankful for that.”

There is hope in Research Triangle Park near the Lattanzio home in Chapel Hill.

“This could be one of those silver bullets. This could treat, this could cure, but that’s not the only story here,” said Neal Hunter. He and his team at KNOW Bio already knew that nitric oxide, which we all produce naturally, can defend against microorganisms.

Hunter said it had never been scientifically demonstrated until the company decided to give it a try.

“It is unique in the way we do it, so we actually load the nitric oxide into another material. And because we do it that way, we are able to put it anywhere over any time at any dose,” Hunter said.

Hunter added that they’re finding out it doesn’t only attack COVID-19. It can go after other pathogens that cause the flu, pneumonia, and possibly even cystic fibrosis.

“This is going to revolutionize the way we treat respiratory infections. That’s not just today’s pandemic — it’s the pandemics in the future. It’s things we can’t even fight right now,” Hunter said.

It’s a breakthrough Lattanzio said is desperately needed.

“The front-line works are exhausted. Parents are trying to balance working from home and supporting their kids learning from home,” she said. “There are families missing people at the dinner table. I mean, it’s crisis mode, so we absolutely need a treatment.”

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