PANDEMIC REPORT: COVID and genetics | Opaganib being tested | Avoiding hospitalization

A look at genetics and COVID reactions

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—Why do some people get infected by COVID while others with the same exposure remain unaffected? Why do some people suffer more severe symptoms than others? The answer might be genetic. A study at the University of Pediatric Genetics at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine is looking to pinpoint genes that may predispose people to infection or severe disease, regardless of whether they have issues that traditionally increase risk.

Can Opaganib inhibit the repetition of the COVID virus?

RALEIGH, NC—In 2015, RedHill Biopharma acquired the exclusive worldwide development and commercialization rights to Opaganib, a drug that was being used for anti-inflammatory applications. Now they’ve tested it on COVID patients and found the pill’s mechanism of action targets human cells, inhibiting the repetition of the virus. Because it’s targeting the cells, not the actual virus, it could be effective on variants.

Avoiding COVID hospitalization

ROCHESTER, MN—A new study from the Mayo Clinic finds that a combination of two monoclonal antibodies can help high-risk COVID-19 patients avoid being hospitalized. People with SARS-CoV-2 infection who received the monoclonal antibodies treatment were significantly less likely to require hospitalization than the participants who did not receive the treatment.

COVID and kidney function

ST. LOUIS, MO—Research at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has concluded that COVID-19 long-haulers are more likely to lose function in their kidneys because of damage or disease in the area. The study emphasizes the importance of paying attention to kidney function in patients who have COVID.