Cholesterol drug reduces coronavirus infection by 70%, new study finds

FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML via AP)
FILE - This 2020 electron microscope image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Rocky Mountain Laboratories shows SARS-CoV-2 virus particles which cause COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S., emerging from the surface of cells cultured in a lab. Viruses are constantly mutating, with coronavirus variants circulating around the globe. (NIAID-RML via AP)

A team of researchers is calling for clinical trials among hospitalized COVID-19 patients after finding that a drug used to treat cholesterol reduces coronavirus infection by 70% in lab studies, a new report finds

According to the report, findings in the Frontiers in Pharmacology journal published Friday by researchers from the U.K. and Italy revealed that fenofibrate and fenofibric acid resulted in a significant reduction in coronavirus infection in human cells when the drug was used in safe and approved concentrations, per a news release posted Friday.

“Our data indicates that fenofibrate may have the potential to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms and also virus spread,” Dr. Elisa Vicenzi of the San Raffaele Scientific Institute in Milan and co-author, said in the release. “Given that fenofibrate is an oral drug which is very cheap and available worldwide, together with its extensive history of clinical use and its good safety profile, our data has global implications.”

According to the study, fenofibrate and fenofibric acid were suggested to work by inhibiting the harmful overproduction of cytokines tied to coronavirus infection, treat airway inflammation, as well as could prevent blood clotting seen in late-stage disease in many COVID-19 patients, FOX 10 reports.

According to the report, the team of researchers is calling for added clinical trials to explore the use of the drug as a potential COVID-19 therapy while studies at the University of Pennsylvania and Hebrew University of Jerusalem remain ongoing.


About the Author: