A study conducted by professor Yaakov Nahmias at Hebrew University in Israel has found that an existing cholesterol drug, fenofibrate, could ‘downgrade’ Covid-19 threat level to that of a common cold.
The findings allegedly come from lab tests on human lung tissue infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.
According to the research, the virus leads to deposits of lipids in the lungs. Nahmias partnered with Mount Sinai Medical Center researcher Dr Benjamin tenOever to gain better insights into SARS-CoV-2 mechanism of attack on the human body.
The researchers observed that the virus changes lipid metabolism in human lungs. They believe that halting this process could help prevent the onset of problems that increase the severity of the disease.
While SARS-CoV-2 hinders the ability of the body to break down fat, fenofibrate starts this process by binding and activating the DNA site that is blocked by the virus.
Nahmias was quoted by The Times of Israel as saying: “The interesting thing about our study is that fenofibrate actually binds and activates the very site on the DNA that the virus shuts down — a part of our DNA that allows our cells to burn fat.
“Virus infection causes the lung cells to start building up fat, and fenofibrate allows the cells to burn it.”
15 JULY 2020