UNC researchers test drug that could be used to treat COVID-19

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are playing a key role in the development and testing of a new drug that could be used to treat the novel coronavirus.

The drug is called EIDD-2801 and has showed promise in reducing lung damage.

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A study, published Monday, found that, when used as a prophylactic, EIDD-2801 can prevent severe lung injury in infected mice.

When given as a treatment 12 or 24 hours after infection has begun, EIDD-2801 can reduce the degree of lung damage and weight loss in mice, the study found.

The window of opportunity is expected to be longer in humans because the period between coronavirus disease onset and death is generally extended in humans compared to mice.

Since the drug can be taken as a pill, it offers a potential advantage for treating less-ill patients or for prophylaxis.

The drug has finished testing in mice and will soon move to human clinical trials.
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