COVID-19 treatment tested in critically ill coronavirus patients at Houston Methodist Hospital

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HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – A treatment that may help slow COVID-19 replication in infected people is in clinical trials and is being used in patients in Houston.SEE RELATED STORY: Who Will Be First In Line For A COVID-19 Vaccine?According to the CEO of NeuroRx, the treatment is based on a compound already present in our body. “This compound is the reason that humans can inhale smoke and the lung can repair itself,” said Dr. Jonathan Javitt, CEO of NeuroRX Incorporated.

The treatment has not been officially named and is currently called RLF-100.

The treatment blocks the cells that create inflammation and stops the virus from replicating. It also causes the lung cells to create fluid that coats the inside of the lung so that oxygen can enter the blood.

Additionally, Dr Javitt said a group of very sick patients were receiving treatment at the Methodist Hospital in Houston. Javitt says patients suffer from respiratory failure combined with other serious health issues. He said six of the patients in the compassionate care program had chest x-rays within days of treatment. He also said the inflammation had subsided and blood oxygen had improved.

SEE RELATED STORY: Methodist Doctor at Houston ICU Shares Journey on the Frontline of COVID-19

WATCH: Click here to watch the doctor’s journey to intensive care

“Dr George Youssef and his colleagues have already shown six patients, but they have over 25 in this compassionate care program where the chest x-rays disappeared a few days after treatment, which is just not common with the COVID, ”Javitt said.

NeuroRx learned Thursday that the FDA had invited them to give the inhaled version of the treatment a trial. It would be for patients who are not so sick.

Treatment would target “patients with COVID who have not yet developed respiratory failure, in the hopes that we can prevent them from developing respiratory failure,” Javitt said.

Javitt remains optimistic and is grateful to be part of a cure in the fight against COVID-19.

“This is the most exciting thing that I have had the privilege to get involved in,” he said.

SEE RELATED STORY: 30,000 Volunteers Needed for Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Trial

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