FDA approves clinical trials for Emory’s COVID-19 antiviral treatment

Emory University Hospital accepts donations of gloves and masks Monday, March 30, 2020.  (Jenni Girtman for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
Caption
Emory University Hospital accepts donations of gloves and masks Monday, March 30, 2020. (Jenni Girtman for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Credit: Jenni Girtman

Emory University has the green light to begin human clinical trials for a drug that researchers hope will treat the novel coronavirus, officials said Wednesday.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved an Investigational New Drug application for EIDD-2801, an antiviral compound, which can be taken orally. The drug was developed several years ago to battle a broad spectrum of viruses and has shown strong results in animal testing against influenza.

» COMPLETE COVERAGE: Coronavirus in Georgia

» MORE: Georgia companies race to treat COVID-19

EIDD-2801 was developed by Drug Innovation Ventures at Emory DRIVE, LLC, a non-profit owned by Emory and started as an innovative approach to drug development. It prevents the replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, Emory said.

Emory said the trials could begin by mid-April.

Emory is among the Georgia-based universities and companies in the race to find a vaccine or treatment for the virus. It is working with researchers in Seattle on a potential vaccine and began human clinical tests a few weeks ago.

» RELATED: Emory testing experimental vaccine with local volunteers

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