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NAU researchers find drug combination that would help treat those with COVID-19

Researchers at Northern Arizona University think they’ve found a drug combination that can help those who are battling COVID-19.

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz — Researchers at Northern Arizona University think they’ve found a drug combination that can help those who are battling COVID-19.

Drug being studied for ovarian cancer proving successful against COVID-19 

Researchers at NAU’s COVID-19 Testing Center (CTSC) have been working on treatments for COVID-19 since April 2020.

Now, scientists have published their success with a drug called Stenoparib.

Currently, Stenoparib is in phase two clinical trials to treat ovarian cancer, but those at CTSC are finding success in combating the coronavirus.

“It acts on the host cell, rather than the virus itself,” Christopher Todd French, PhD, director of the CTSC, said.

Stenoparib most helpful when combined with Remdesivir

After finding Stenoparib to be successful in inhibiting the virus, French said they turned to see how it would work when combined with other drugs.

Specifically, the scientists chose to test it with Remdesivir, which is already approved by the FDA to treat COVID-19.

“What you try to do with drug combinations is you try to minimize the harmful effects of either drug,” French said, “and you try to capitalize on their beneficial effects.”

French said the two drugs work together to fight the virus.

The researchers found when COVID-19 enters a cell, Remdesivir helps stop it from multiplying. Stenoparib does that too, but it also stops helps stop the virus from getting into the cell in the first place.

“You're hitting two very different mechanisms to inhibit the virus,” French said.

Stenoparib could be used clinically in the next few months

French said the CTSC will be testing Stenoparib against variants seen popping up across the globe, including the U.K., South African and Brazilian variants.

“There’s no reason to suspect that it won’t be equally effective against those, absolutely no reason, but we have to test that,” French said.

French said it’s possible the drug could be used in the clinical setting in the next few months.

But the research done is a step toward the hope of more treatments being available to help those with COVID-19.

“We're not frontline workers, we don't we don't see patients, we don't handle patients in the clinic, but we're really trying to fight the good fight on this,” French said.

You can read more about NAU's research here: https://goctsc.com/ctsc-stenoparib-covid-19/

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