Researchers Propose Treating COVID-19 Patients With Psoriasis Drug

Lynne Adkins
May 11, 2020 - 1:58 pm

Scientists are researching if a drug that’s being tested to treat a skin condition can also help keep COVID-19 patients off ventilators.

The drug, labeled as EDP1815, was being tested on psoriasis patients, but Dr. Reynold Panettieri, vice chancellor for translational medicine and science at Rutgers University, said it will now be tested on coronavirus patients who have pneumonia and inflammation of the lungs.

“This is a therapy that is really quite well-tolerated — it’s by-mouth therapy that’s taken twice a day. It targets a bacteria in the gut that actually can act as an anti-inflammatory and decrease the possibility for inflammation in a disease like COVID-19,” he said.

Panettieri hopes the medication will keep patients off ventilators by preventing the immune system from malfunctioning and attacking the lungs or other vital organs.

“The goal is to decrease the progression to respiratory failure,” he added. “It’s not for those people on ventilators or those with severe disease.”

A clinical trial is underway. The drug has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

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