Fenofibrate Prevents Lung Damage in COVID-19 Patients

Research spearheaded at Jerusalem’s Hebrew University gathered early clinical evidence demonstrating the efficacy of fenofibrate in treating COVID-19 induced lung damage. The researchers demonstrated that the SARS-CoV-2 virus was inhibiting the effective breakdown of fat within the lungs. They then identified fenofibrate as the drug to address this in COVID-19 patients.

Fenofibrate is a drug approved by the FDA since 1975 and is used to address high levels of triglycerides in the blood. Initial results in 1500 patients revealed that fenofibrate increased the breakdown of fats and recovery speed also increased.

The evidence even showed that there was zero mortality among these patients. This research showed that human lungs responded to SARS-CoV-2 by completely changing their metabolism, causing a major build-up of fats in lung cells. The unhealthy build-up of fat is a critical factor in the COVID-19 patient’s deterioration.

Patients taking fibrates that work directly to breakdown fats recovered fast from the disease, while those taking medications that build fats like thiazolidinediones, showed greater lung damage and mortality. The research team suggested that using an established drug such as fenofibrate, which is approved and has a proven safety record could alter the effects of COVID-19. In the coming days, the team will begin an investigator-led Phase 3a clinical study, with financial support from Abbott.

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Ref link: https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-12/thuo-pcd122220.php