Vanderbilt University Medical Center contributes to potential antiviral drug for COVID-19


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center said they’re helping develop a potential new antiviral drug to treat COVID-19.

The drug is named EIDD-1931 and was developed at the Emory Institute for Drug Development in Atlanta.

In November, VUMC staff reported that EIDD-1931 blocked replication of a broad spectrum of coronaviruses in laboratory tests and prevented these viruses from developing resistance against it.

The VUMC researchers also contributed to an animal study conducted at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

That paper included information from cultured human lung cells infected with SARS-CoV-2, as well as mice infected with the related coronaviruses SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV.

The study found that EIDD-2801, a form of EIDD-1931 that can be taken orally, prevented severe lung injury in infected mice. When given 12 or 24 hours after infection had begun, the drug reduced the degree of lung damage and weight loss in mice.

Officials said that if clinical studies in humans are successful, EIDD-2801 could not only help stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2, but it also could control future outbreaks of other emerging coronaviruses.

Currently no antiviral drugs have been approved to treat SARS-CoV-2 or any of the other coronaviruses that cause human disease.

To learn more about the work that staff at Vanderbilt University Medical Center has done thus far, click here.

The drug study team includes (back row from left) Jim Chappell, MD, PhD, Andrea Pruijssers, PhD, Mark Denison, MD, (front row from left) postdoctoral fellow Maria Agostini, PhD, graduate student Jennifer Gribble Bowser, and senior research specialists Laura Stevens, MS, Tia Hughes, MS, and Xioatao Lu, MS. Current lab members also include research fellow Jordan Anderson-Daniels, PhD, and research assistant Amelia George, MS. (photo was taken last year)

Stay with News 2 for continuing coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic.


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