University of Louisville finds possible breakthrough drug in the treatment Of COVID-19

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WTVF) — Two crucial keys to rebounding from this pandemic are the desperate needs for a vaccine and a cure. Now, there is some good news on the medical front.

Doctors at the University of Louisville now believe they have a potential breakthrough to treat those sick with COVID-19.

Of course, pharmaceutical companies and universities around the world are scrambling to find a cure for COVID-19.

Vanderbilt University and Meharry Medical College are among them.

There have been advances. And the University of Louisville is where researchers there are saying they’re seeing promise in a breakthrough technology.

“We are very optimistic we can move quickly toward human clinical trials of this new drug,” said Dr. Paula Bates, a professor at the University of Louisville.

Those trials for the yet-to-be-named drug have been fast tracked for FDA approval.

“Best case scenario we are talking about months instead of years,” said Dr. Bates.

She had wondered if a new cancer drug they’ve been developing might work on COVID-19.

“I had an idea that because of the way it works — it binds to a protein that often helps viruses hijack cells — that maybe it would work with the coronavirus,” said Dr. Bates.

The drug is a potential treatment, not a vaccine. Dr. Bates said it’s safe with few side effects. And, in early lab testing it shows the ability to shutdown Covid-19.

“Our evidence at the moment is this can block the activity of the virus in cells,” she said.

“We have to be cautious. This is an early stage discovery. So far we’ve shown it just works in cells.”

But, those results are promising. If down the road this drug is approved it would be delivered by IV over a period of days both to patients who are infected, but showing with no symptoms and those very sink and bedridden.

However, more work needs to be done. The good news: It’s moving quickly.

Dr. Bates emphasizes this drug is not a cure, at least not yet. But the goal is to have one before a vaccine — which still could be at least a year away.

People are dying and a new drug that works will save thousands of lives. Dr. Bates says the drug has been tested in cancer patients who showed no ill effects.

She hopes that leads the FDA to quickly approve testing of the drug in COVID-19 patients.

What is the rebound?

As Middle Tennessee works to rebound from the impact of the Coronavirus, we want to help. Whether it’s getting back to work, making ends meet during this uncertain time, or managing the pressure, we’re committed to finding solution. In addition, we want to tell your stories of hope, inspiration, and creativity as Middle Tennessee starts to rebound.

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