Preliminary Results of Drug Study for COVID-19 Long-Haulers Are Promising

Patients reported improvements in 18 of 24 COVID-related symptoms

NBC Universal, Inc.

Eli Musser feels the best he’s felt in more than a year. The New Yorker contracted COVID-19 in March 2020 and has suffered relentless symptoms ever since.

“I just had terrible new symptoms. Seizures, night sweats, panic attacks, insomnia,” said Eli Musser told NBC 6 back in February.

Later that month, he started a 90-day trial approved by the FDA for the drug Leronlimab. 56 people known as "COVID Long-Haulers" got weekly injections of the drug. "COVID Long-Haulers" are those who suffer COVID-19 symptoms more than three months after getting the virus.

The initial results of the study are encouraging. Patients say three out of four symptoms improved after taking the drug, Musser included.

“Every few days and week or so I notice feeling better, symptoms continue to resolve or improve,” Musser said.

“There’s still going to be further analysis of these data as well as the biomark data, what we want to see next is if the clinical symptoms match up with what occurred in the blood,” said Dr. Norman Gaylis, a rheumatologist at Arthritis & Rheumatic Disease Specialties in Aventura.

Dr. Gaylis says this is a promising step forward in finding treatments for people with chronic COVID symptoms. If a second study goes well, Leronlimab could be available to people by next summer and fill a huge hole in the market.

“We desperately need a treatment that is shown to work and can be available,” said Dr. Gaylis.

Available to people like Musser who just want to get their lives back.

“I can see from here on out I’m going to keep working on getting better,” said Musser.

The second trial is in the planning stages now. They’ll be looking at what dosage works best for people and just how long Leronlimab can help people recover.

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