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CHICAGO (CBS) — In the battle against COVID-19, the University of Illinois at Chicago has received $6 million from the federal government to test a potential drug to treat severe complications from infections with the coronavirus.
The university noted that severe cases of COVID-19 can result in complications such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS, in which fluid from the bloodstream leaks into the lungs and causes difficulty breathing. It lead to a serious infection, which in turn can lead to an immune overreaction called a cytokine storm that can further damage the lungs.
These complications often put people on ventilators and are thought to contribute to the death of COVID-19 patients. ARDS has a mortality rate of about 50 percent, and there are no treatments for ARDS or cytokine storms.
The new funds are being used to test a drug called VT-109, which has been shown to help restore function to damaged lungs and reduce cytokine levels in animal tests.
Researchers hope the testing will one day lead to clinical trials in humans, but say that could take three or four more years.
Source: CBS Chicago