A drug to treat coronavirus patients, Avigan, is being tested in Massachusetts and is “showing exciting” results and might be available soon thanks to the Trump administration’s Right to Try Act, according to noted coronavirus expert Dr. Peter Michalos.
“There are clinical trials going on right now in Massachusetts, here in the United States,” Dr. Michalos, Chairman of the Hamptons Health Society, told Sunday’s “The Cats Roundtable” on WABC-770 AM-N.Y.
“Thanks to President Trump’s ‘Right to Try,’ even if [Avigan] shows great results in Phase 2 before it’s FDA approved, people will get the right to try the pill.”
Dr. Michalos noted Avigan has shown in trials of treating COVID-19 to cut the recovery time down from 11 days to just five. It was developed in Japan many years ago for the flu and repurposed for Ebola a few years ago, he told host John Catsimatidis.
“The Chinese began testing on it [on coronavirus patients] and had some very exciting results,” he added. “Now the Germans are using it, and the Russian ministry of health approved it. That was pretty dramatic, that with an oral pill, instead of being sick for 11 days, people were only sick for five days.”
The trimming of recovery time is important, because it is the rapid replication of COVID-19 in patients that renders acute cases that can require the use of ventilators and lead to death, according to Dr. Michalos.
“Avigan is looking quite amazing,” he added, noting use of treatments like hydroxychloroquine and remdesivir has to come early as opposed to later, when the virus takes over the lungs and leads to the immune system destroying a patient from within.
“The trick with a lot of these medicines is early intervention so the virus does not replicate,” Dr. Michalos concluded. “The problem is once it replicated and gets into the lungs and our immune system starts filling it up with fluid.”