COVID-19 treatment based off compound in our body could stop virus from replicating

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A treatment that could help slow the replication of COVID-19 in infected people is in clinical trials, and it's being used on patients in Houston.

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According to the CEO of NeuroRx, the treatment is based off of a compound that is already in our body.

"This compound is the reason that human beings can inhale smoke and the lung can repair itself," said Dr. Jonathan Javitt, the CEO of NeuroRX Incorporated.

The treatment has not been officially named and for now is called RLF-100.

The treatment blocks the cells that create inflammation and stops the replication of the virus. It also causes cells in the lung to create a fluid that coats the inside of the lung so that oxygen can enter the blood.

Furthermore, Dr. Javitt said a group of very ill patients are receiving the treatment at Houston Methodist Hospital. Javitt says the patients have respiratory failure combined with other serious health problems. He said six of the patients in the compassionate care program had chest X-rays cleared within days of receiving the treatment. He also said inflammation decreased and blood oxygen improved.

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"Dr. George Youssef and his colleagues have shown already six patients, but they have more than 25 in this compassionate care program where chest X-rays have cleared within days of treatment, and that's just not commonly seen with COVID," said Javitt.

NeuroRx learned on Thursday that the FDA has invited them to do a trial for the inhaled version of the treatment. It would be for patients who are not nearly as sick.

The treatment would target "patients who have COVID but haven't yet developed respiratory failure, in the hopes that we can prevent them from developing respiratory failure," said Javitt.

Javitt remains hopeful and is grateful to be part of a treatment in the fight against COVID-19.

"This is the most exciting thing I've ever had the privilege of being involved in," he said.

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