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The identification of an effective drug treatment for COVID-19 could be a game-changer in the fight against the coronavirus. When the Bronx’s own Montefiore Medical Center is the site of real progress, it’s something to get excited about.
Onan investor call Monday the small pharmaceutical company CytoDyn and their consultant Dr. Bruce Patterson reported rapid and significant improvement in the condition of the first seven COVID-19 patients to receive Leronlimab (Vyrologix). Publication of Dr. Patterson’s medical article is expected shortly.
Leronlimab has not been FDA approved, but is already an investigational drug in trials treating cancer and HIV. CytoDyn’s claims are rooted in the idea that suppression of thecytokineprotein CCL5 (RANTES) has both antiviral and anti-inflammatory implications.
“I’m telling you today, COVID-19 is a RANTES disease,” Dr. Patterson said on the call. “There is nothing that RANTES hasn’t been involved in, and that makes sense because RANTES coordinates the movement of cells throughout the body.”
TheLeronlimabstudy is not the only COVID-19 drug trial currently at Montefiore, which also participates in a multi-center study called the Adaptive COVID-19 Treatment Trial (ACTT): NCT04280705. To date, the ACTT has been a study of the antiviral drug Remdesivir. TheNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), which coordinates the study, has just announced that pharmaceutical giant Ely Lilly’s Baricitinib (Olumiant), an anti-inflammatory, will also be included despite NIH’s recent treatment guidelines specifically recommending against its use.
Until now much of the information available about Leronlimab, which acts “upstream” of IL-6, has been via the drug’s manufacturer, CytoDyn. Now Dr. Mobeen Syed (Dr. Been) has made a video describing Leronlimab’s mechanism of action:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yN7llL9xNA. The meat of that discussion begins 30 minutes in, so I strongly recommend starting at the 30 minute mark and doubling back later if you’re interested in monoclonal antibodies generally
This is NOT a blanket endorsement of Dr. Mobeen Syed and his opinions. Got to like his cartoons, though.