Nothing Impossible: Possible COVID-19 treatment developed in St. Louis

Scientists working in the BioSTL Building in Cortex

Michael Calhoun
June 23, 2020 - 4:48 am



ST. LOUIS (KMOX) -- Local scientists developed a possible treatment for COVID-19 patients and the FDA has approved the start of human studies.

Executive Vice President of R&D at Confluence Discovery Technologies Joe Monahan says the drug blocks proteins, called cytokines, which cause an uncontrolled inflammatory state.

"Our hypothesis is that if you can block the cytokine storm, you'll prevent progression of the disease, reverse the acute respiratory distress syndrome in the lung, reduce the need for ventilation, and reduce mortality in patients," Monahan says.

Related: No spike in St. Louis; Missouri reports largest one-day increase of COVID cases

It could be approved for ailments like rheumatoid arthritis, inflamed bowl disease, and COPD in three to six years. but "COVID could be different because its accelerated within the FDA."

Confluence was founded in St. Louis in 2010 by scientists who took their research with them after being laid off at Pfizer.

Early support came from BioGenerator and the company, despite being now owned by a Philadelphia firm, still works out of the BioSTL building in Cortex.

You can hear how Confluence scientists kept researching during the pandemic by listening to the podcast for Nothing Impossible sponsored by BioSTL.

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