Tulane COVID-preventative treatment shows promising results

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Tulane researchers say an antibody treatment has shown signs in animal trials that it can be effective at preventing coronavirus from multiplying once it infects you. Tulane Internal Medicine Chair Dr. Jay Kolls says lab mice that received a protein called MDR 504 were far less likely to see the virus replicate once infected.

“They can go from one viral particle up to a hundred million viral particles in a couple of days and so we knocked that down over 99.9%,” said Kolls.

Some animal toxicology studies will need to be completed before they can move to human trials.

Kolls says the treatment could be fantastic for frontline workers like nurses who are regularly exposed to the virus. The only downside is right now it’s not cheap.

“It is not going to be as cheap as a small molecule pill, that would probably be the most cost-effective approach but we don’t have that right now so this is the next best thing,” said Kolls.

Patients must return to receive the treatment several times a month.

Now that there’s firm evidence of the effectiveness of MDR 504, when could the public expect to see it available for general consumption?

“We have to do safety trials in humans, we are hoping to do those in November, December. A study in patients with COVID-19, which would occur January through March so perhaps after that, March, April of 2021,” said Kolls.

Kolls adds the treatment could be highly effective for patients who cannot receive traditional vaccines due to a medical condition.