A new drug designed to treat severe COVID-19 cases is being tested in the D.C. region and has shown promise, researchers say.

The drug, Fostamantinib, is a product of pharmaceutical company Rigel, WTTG-TV (Channel 5) reported. Inova is partnering with the National Institutes of Health to direct phase 2 of research.

The study was conducted on 59 participants, WTTG reported. Early results showed patients treated with Fostamantinib had less harsh effects from the coronavirus and better clinical outcomes.

“We are particularly excited about some of this efficacy data coming out of this study,” said Dr. Steven Nathan, medical director of Inova’s advanced lung disease and lung transplant program, WTTG reported. “It looked like the patients spent less time in the ICU, less time in the hospital.”

Nathan said patients spent less time on oxygen and had lower mortality rates. The three deaths in the study had received a placebo, he said.

Despite the promising developments, Nathan said Fostamatinib is still in the early research stages. Phase-three testing is being conducted in South America and, pending those results, Rigel will submit the drug to the Food and Drug Administration for approval, WTTG reported.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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