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CNN is reporting some interesting COVID-19 developments this afternoon.
First, a study at Columbia University Irving Medical Center (a hospital in NYC which treated COVID patients earlier this year), released information about how the disease affects numerous parts of the human body.
The CNN update explains,
"Coronavirus damages not only the lungs, but the kidneys, liver, heart, brain and nervous system, skin and gastrointestinal tract, doctors noted Friday in a review of reports about Covid-19 patients.The team at the Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York City — one of the hospitals flooded with patients in the spring – went through their own experiences and collected reports from other medical teams around the world.
Their comprehensive picture shows coronavirus attacks virtually every major system in the human body, directly damaging organs and causing the blood to clot, the heart to lose its healthy rhythm, the kidneys to shed blood and protein and the skin to erupt in rashes. It causes headaches, dizziness, muscle aches, stomach pain and other symptoms along with classic respiratory symptoms such as coughing and fever.
"Physicians need to think of COVID-19 as a multisystem disease," Dr. Aakriti Gupta, a cardiology fellow at Columbia who worked on the review, said in a statement. "There's a lot of news about clotting but it's also important to understand that a substantial proportion of these patients suffer kidney, heart, and brain damage, and physicians need to treat those conditions along with the respiratory disease."
More details: Much of the damage wrought by the virus appears to come because of its affinity for a receptor — a kind of molecular doorway into cells – called ACE2. Cells lining the blood vessels, in the kidneys, the liver ducts, the pancreas, in the intestinal tract and lining the respiratory tract all are covered with ACE2 receptors, which the virus can use to grapple and infect cells, the Columbia team wrote in their review, published in the journal Nature Medicine."
OK, WHERE'S THE GOOD NEWS?!
While this news is pretty intense to read, there is also some positive news to report. Another CNN update this afternoon highlights a possible therapeutic drug to treat the virus, and it could be available by the end of 2020.
That CNN update reads,
"An antibody therapy from Eli Lilly could be on the market by the end of the year, according to the CEO of a biotech firm working with the pharmaceutical giant.
“We’re moving at breakneck speed,” said Carl Hansen, CEO of AbCellera. “It’s like running 100 meters in two seconds.”
The company is two weeks into Phase 2 trials, which will involve hundreds of Covid-19 patients. Some of them will get the antibody drug at varying doses and others will receive a placebo, or a pill that does nothing, and then doctors will compare how each group fares.
He said the Phase 1 trial of a few dozen patients showed the drug was safe.
To make the drug, AbCellera picked “an absolute elite superstar antibody” from someone who had recovered from Covid-19, Hansen said.
The scientists had plenty of antibodies to choose from. In just 10 milliliters of blood, the patient had more than 500 antibodies. The scientists chose the one that was the most potent in fighting off coronavirus and was also easy to develop, clone and manufacture."
Click here to read the CNN update page for today, 7/10/2020.
And click here to read about the aforementioned study, published in "Nature Medicine"