Details on experimental drug being used to treat HFD captain battling COVID-19

WOODLANDS, Texas – A Houston firefighter's family is hoping a new drug will help him win his battle with COVID-19.

It has not been proven to work yet but researchers are looking into the potential impact of RLF-100.

According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are four hospitals across the country experimenting with the drug. The patients it’s being used on are critically ill.

Here is the following criteria a patient must have in order to get treated with RLF-100:

- COVID-19 with respiratory failure

- They cannot be on ECMO, chemo or have heart failure

In the past, the drug has been used for erectile dysfunction. Now, the company that makes the drug, NeuroRX, says they believe by using it as an injection, it can be used for conditions like bipolar depression and also respiratory distress.

Although, those claims are still under investigation.

One small study is happening at Houston Methodist.

The hospital declined an on-camera interview because it said results on the success have not been proven yet.

Still, the Houston Fire Department is putting their hopes on RLF-100 to help cure their fellow firefighter.

The department said they got approval from NeuroRX to get the drug transferred from Houston Methodist to Memorial Hermann in the Woodlands to treat Capt. Tommy Searcy.

“Capt. Searcy is a 17-year veteran. He’s extremely young and that’s encouraging to me that he’s going to be able to battle this terrible disease,” HFD Chief Sam Pena said.

Pena added that, right now, 96 Houston firefighters are in quarantine and 34 firefighters have tested positive. He said the cases have gone down from where it has been.