$15 drug gets COVID patients off oxygen support in under week – study

The Jerusalem Post:

Fenofibrate could dramatically shorten the treatment time for severe COVID patients. 

Fourteen out of 15 severe COVID-19 patients who were treated in an investigator-initiated interventional open-label clinical study of the drug TriCor (fenofibrate) didn’t require oxygen support within a week of treatment and were released from the hospital, according to the results of a new Hebrew University of Jerusalem study.

Fenofibrate is an FDA-approved oral medication. The results were published on Researchsquare.com and are currently under peer review. Specifically, the team that was led by HU’s Prof. Yaakov Nahmias carried out the study at Israel’s Barzilai Medical Center in coordination with the hospital’s head of the Infectious Disease Unit, Prof. Shlomo Maayan, and with support from Abbott Laboratories.

The 15 treated patients all had pneumonia and required oxygen support. They were also older with multiple comorbidities, ranging from diabetes and obesity to high blood pressure.In addition to standard of care, the patients were given 145 mg/day of fenofibrate for 10 days.

“The results were dramatic,” Nahmias told The Jerusalem Post. “Progressive inflammation markers, which are the hallmark of deteriorative COVID-19, dropped within 48 hours of treatment. Moreover, 14 of the 15 severe patients didn’t require oxygen support within a week of treatment.” The 15th patient was off oxygen within 10 days.

When looking at the data on other similar severe patients, less than 30% of them on average are removed from oxygen support within a week. In other words, fenofibrate could dramatically shorten the treatment time for severe COVID patients.

“We know these kinds of patients deteriorate really fast, develop a cytokine storm in five to seven days and that it can take weeks to treat them and for them to get better,” Nahmias said. “We gave these patients fenofibrate and the study shows inflammation dropped incredibly fast. They did not seem to develop a cytokine storm at all.”

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