African American Drug Company Founder Announces Possible Coronavirus Treatment

A scientist in a laboratory uses a large pipette to collect a blood sample. They are wearing latex gloves and other scientific apparatus can be seen in the background of the image.

African American Drug Company Founder Announces Possible Coronavirus Treatment

Ennaid Therapeutics is seeking FDA approval for drug that could help the afflicted.

Published April 7th

Written by BET Staff

A Georgia-based pharmaceutical company is advancing the development of an antiviral drug that may potentially fight coronavirus cases, and which would be more easily administered to those afflicted by the disease.

Darnisha Harrison, founder and CEO of Ennaid Therapeutics, one of the first African American women to start a major drug company, announced her company filed a patent when scientists working there created a therapeutic called ENU200 that could treat as much as 80 percent of asymptomatic, mild to moderate COVID-19 infections.

"Our science strongly suggests that ENU200, a repurposed drug with a well-established clinical and safety profile, has the potential to be a broad solution to address the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Harrison in a statement from the company. “Unlike other COVID-19 drugs in development, which must be administered via injection or intravenously under the care of a physician, ENU200 can be administered orally, thus enabling in-home treatment for COVID-19 infections."

ENU200 had been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a different purpose, and is no longer prescribed, but scientific modeling shows that it can deliver antiviral activity to the proteins that make up coronavirus.

Ennaid Therapeutics officials say they are hoping the FDA will fast track the drug through its emergency process and wants to run a clinical trial of patients before bringing it to market.

“We anticipate the clinical trials could start within 90 days,” Harrison told Baton Rouge, La. station WBRZ. “The clinical trial itself could take a month. We feel quite optimistic that in the 120-day window when our clinical material would be ready, we could have a drug that could be safe and effective at treating COVID-19.”

 

Photo: SolStock

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