The experimental HIV drug Leronlimab has been used to successfully treat COVID-19 patients. Now, it is in its second phase of testing with the Food and Drug Administration, according to its manufacturer CytoDyn.
The use of the drug on severely ill patients in New York City hospitals resulted in some being removed from ventilators.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
CytoDyn CEO Nader Pourhassan said in a statement, “With a study in China indicating the mortality rate among COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilator at more than 85%, the world desperately needs a therapy that can help this patient population.”
The New York Post reports initial studies suggesting Leronlimab can reduce the overactive immune response, known as a cytokine storm, that can be triggered by the coronavirus infection. Cytokine storms can cause pneumonia and even death.
“[I] cried for about five minutes. It was very, very emotional,” Pourhassan said after learning about the results. “We’re hoping we can save millions of lives.”