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LSU grad files for patent, working with FDA on drug to stop COVID-19

4 months 6 days 18 hours ago Monday, April 06 2020 Apr 6, 2020 April 06, 2020 6:50 PM April 06, 2020 in News
Source: WBRZ

ATLANTA - A Baton Rouge native and LSU grad said scientists working for her company have found a drug that is showing promise in laboratories at blocking the continued spread of COVID-19.

Darnisha Harrison went to Baton Rouge High and LSU before moving to Georgia. She is the CEO and founder of Ennaid Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company that develops antiviral drugs.

Two weeks ago, she said a patent was filed after scientists discovered a drug that showed strong evidence of blocking two COVID-19 causing proteins from invading healthy host cells and replicating.

The drug is called ENU200 and was previously approved by the FDA for other conditions. The drug is now a repurposed drug and is no longer prescribed.

“The FDA has been very supportive at fast-tracking review every step of the way and that is true around the world,” Harrison said.

Harrison said although nothing is approved at this point, the results in the lab are promising.

“We anticipate the clinical trials could start within 90 days,” Harrison said. “The clinical trial itself could take a month. We feel quite optimistic that in the 120-day window when our clinical material would be ready, we could have a drug that could be safe and effective at treating COVID-19.”

Although things are moving as quickly as possible, many guidelines still have to be followed. Harrison believes the drug could help those battling this novel coronavirus.

“We are bringing so much optimism and hope to the world with our oral capsule,” Harrison said.

Harrison said things could be ready by the fall if everything is approved.

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