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$1.50-a-day lipid-lowering drug helps COVID patients in small Israeli trial

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A $1.50-a-day generic drug appears to have strong COVID-fighting ability, Israeli researchers say, after inflammation levels “fell like a rock” among coronavirus patients in a small clinical trial.

A research team from Hebrew University of Jerusalem proposed early in the pandemic that fenofibrate, a generic fat-lowering medication and one of America’s most prescribed medicines, could help COVID-19 patients.

It saw the drug effectively fight the coronavirus in-vitro a year ago, and has conducted data studies since. Now, the team has given the drug to 15 serious COVID-19 patients at Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. All were receiving oxygen, yet all were discharged during the course of the 10-day trial.

“We saw that it works,” Prof. Yaakov Nahmias of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem told The Times of Israel. “This is very promising, and it’s exciting as this is a very cheap generic drug with minimal side effects.”

He stressed that further research involving a placebo group is getting underway, and is needed to draw firm conclusions, but said there is clear comparison data for the 15 patients, in the form of medical records from 144 others who were similarly sick with the coronavirus.

Based on these records, he expected just........

© The Times of Israel

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