An Effective Oral Tablet For COVID-19? Armand Balboni, MD, PhD Discusses


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Oct 01 2020 30 mins   5

Efforts to stop SARS-CoV-2 in its tracks have been ongoing for months, and now there might be something tangible that makes it happen.

Press play to learn:

  • How to trigger viral mutations that prevent SARS-CoV-2 from replicating in the human body, thereby preventing the “cytokine storm” associated with COVID-19
  • COVID-19 prophylaxis in communities that may need it the most? Whether it’s possible, and how it's being investigated
  • What’s necessary in order to warrant emergency use authorization for an antiviral drug in treating COVID-19

Fueled by a long-standing fascination with infectious diseases and pandemics like the Black Death, Dr. Armand Balboni earned a dual MD/PhD degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Having spent 17 years in the US military as an officer working on a number of infectious diseases including Ebola, dengue fever, and malaria, he discovered unmet needs in the marketplace, and wanted to design a socially-conscious company to meet those needs. In 2014, this goal manifested as Appili Therapeutics, a pure play anti-infectives company.

Today, the team at Appili Therapeutics is working on phase II and phase III clinical trials for the most advanced product that is an oral tablet for COVID-19: an antiviral medication called favipiravir. This medication has already undergone three phase III clinical trials in the US and been approved for pandemic flu in Japan and China. The expectation is that the current phase II and phase III clinical trials will show that favipiravir is safe and effective specifically for the treatment of COVID-19. Dr. Balboni anticipates that this medication will be available for use against COVID-19 by early next year.

Dr. Balboni explains the importance of each stage in the US clinical trial process, the specific mechanism of action by which favipiravir works against viral replication, Operation Warp Speed as it applies to both vaccines and therapeutic drugs, possible side effects of favipiravir, and more.

Visit https://clinicaltrials.gov/ and https://www.appilitherapeutics.com/ for more information.

Available on Apple Podcasts: apple.co/2Os0myK