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Downgrading COVID-19’s threat to that of the common cold?

Could a simple drug, that has been on the market for decades, be used to treat COVID-19? A research team led by Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Professor Yaakov Nahmias suggests that early research looks promising. Their findings have been published in Cell Press’ Sneak Peak, but have yet to be peer-reviewed.

In lab studies in conjunction with Mount Sinai in the US, the commonly available cholesterol-lowering drug Fenofibrate (Tricor) showed “extremely promising results”. By allowing lung cells to burn more fat, fenofibrate is said to break the virus’ grip on these cells, and prevent SARS CoV-2’s ability to reproduce. A statement put out by Hebrew University said that within only five days of treatment, the virus almost completely disappeared.

“With second-wave infections spiking in countries across the globe, these findings couldn’t come at a better time,” said Nahmias. “If our findings are borne out by clinical studies, this course of treatment could potentially downgrade COVID-19’s severity into nothing worse than a common cold.”

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