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This Drug Could Calm the 'Cytokine Storm' That's Killing Coronavirus Patients 

04-23-2020
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A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A body wrapped in plastic that was unloaded from a refrigerated truck is handled by medical workers wearing personal protective equipment due to COVID-19 concerns, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, at Brooklyn Hospital Center in New York. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

An experimental drug that has been used to treat people with HIV is now showing promise for COVID-19 patients. CBN News spoke with Dr. Nader Pourhassan, the CEO of CytoDyn, the company that makes the drug called leronlimab. 

Dozens of people who tested positive for coronavirus have been given leronlimab and later exhibited various degrees of improvement, including some who appeared on the brink of death who made remarkable recoveries, Dr. Pourhassan said. 

He cited the case of a 55-year-old California mother of three who says the drug saved her life.  

In early April, she was being kept alive by a ventilator. Her husband gave permission for his wife's doctor to administer leronlimab to his wife. Within two days she was taken off the ventilator and was able to breathe on her own. 

The FDA approved leronlimab for use as an emergency investigational new drug. That means doctors who wish to prescribe it must first receive approval from the FDA before giving to each individual patient. 

Pourhassan hopes the FDA will approve the drug for "compassionate use," which means doctors do not have to submit individual requests to the organization before prescribing it to each patient. 

Dr. Pourhassan tells CBN News leronlimab calms the so-called 'cytokine storm' that doctors say is killing far too many COVID-19 patients. That's when the immune system overreacts to the presence of the virus. Most people view a hard-working immune system as a good thing. However, Dr. Pourhassan explained how sometimes the immune response can be too extreme and can cause serious, even fatal damage to the body's organs, including the lungs. 

The race is on for an effective COVID-19 treatment. CytoDyn is currently enrolling patients for clinical trials of the drug.

In addition to a possible COVID-19 treatment, leronlimab is also being studied as a possible treatment for breast cancer. 

FOR CBN NEWS CONTINUING COVERAGE ON COVID-19, CLICK HERE.

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