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New Univ. of Iowa study finds drug protects older mice from worst effects of COVID-19

Published: Apr. 6, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - A new study done at the University of Iowa, by Dr. Paul McCray and Dr. Stanley Perlman, is the first step toward preventing bad outcomes of COVID. It involves elderly mice.

“I think everybody knows that the elderly are at greater risk for bad outcomes with COVID,” said Dr. McCray. “The coronavirus will infect the mice, and we found that the older mice are more susceptible to bad outcomes than younger mice.”

The drug is called asapiprant, and the key discovery when using it on these elderly mice comes from immune response.

“A drug that’s been under investigation for asthma that works by blocking a receptor. We’ve found in this studies that treating the mice with this receptor blocker prevented the bad outcomes,” Dr. McCray.

And while Dr. McCray says these advancements to combat COVID-19 are a step in the right direction, it might not necessarily mean we are entering the endemic phase.

“It becomes another therapeutic strategy or treatment that we could use to help a vulnerable population.”

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