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Drugs in development to fight coronavirus, treat patients

New developments in the effort to use drugs that are already on the market to treat coronavirus patients.

The Food and Drug Administration is looking into several potential treatment options for patients with COVID-19. The President announced he’s helping to fast track drug options.

“We are working on scaling these to allow many more Americans to access different drugs that have shown really good promise, really good promise,” President Donald Trump said.

Experts warn rushing a treatment too quickly through safety checks can cause more harm than good. There are early signs that one experimental drug may start working within 24 hours of the first dose. The anti-viral therapy called Remdesivir is thought to work by blocking the virus from reproducing itself in the body. A Washington couple with coronavirus received the drug and started to feel better the next day.

"I got on that and 48 hours later I was feeling a lot better," said coronavirus patient Chris Kane.

In a statement, Gilean said, “Remdesivir is an investigational antiviral with limited data at this time -it is not approved anywhere globally and has not been demonstrated to be safe or effective for any use.”

The company is supporting five clinical trials around the world to study the safety and efficacy of Remdesivir as a potential COVID-19 treatment and noted that the drug has been given to some severely ill patients through compassionate use programs.

The FDA is also looking into several other drug options. One used to treat Malaria, Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis called Hydroxychloroquine has shown success in China where the outbreak began.

Using drugs that failed other tests isn’t uncommon. Drugs that couldn’t cure Ebola, HIV and Hepatitis C are all being resurrected in hopes that their studies hold something valuable in stopping the coronavirus. There is a longer list of drugs in testing to treat coronavirus.

There is also some work being done on a potential vaccine. A vaccine would not cure a sick person, it would only work to prevent healthy people from getting the illness.

Just like the flu shot works now.