A synthetic form of a natural peptide called aviptadil or RLF-100 has been found to help COVID-19 patients recover more quickly from the disease. Two drug companies revealed on Sunday that a number of critically ill coronavirus patients were able to demonstrate speedy recovery from respiratory failure after receiving the RLF-100 therapy for three days.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the fast-track designation of RLF-100 as a COVID-19 treatment in June. The drug, which was developed by Relief Therapeutics Holdings in partnership with U.S.-Israeli drug maker NeuroRx, particularly treats the respiratory distress brought by COVID-19.

Seventy COVID-19 patients are currently receiving the RLF-100 therapy as part of the Phase 2/3 clinical trial for the drug. Some hospitals also administer the drug on an emergency basis to patients who are too ill to join the trial.

In a joint statement on Sunday, Relief Therapeutics Holdings and NeuroRx revealed that the first report of rapid recovery under the emergency use of RLF-100 had been confirmed by doctors from Houston Methodist Hospital. The patient was a 54-year-old man who contracted the new coronavirus while receiving treatment for rejection of a double lung transplant. He managed to come off a ventilator just within four days of RLF-100 treatment.

The drug makers also said that after the said patient, 15 more patients who were treated under emergency use with RLF-199 also showed similar results. Both companies also claimed that independent researchers in a biocontainment laboratory in Brazil had reported that the drug could block replication of the SARS coronavirus in human lung cells and immune cells.

“No other antiviral agent has demonstrated rapid recovery from viral infection and demonstrated laboratory inhibition of viral replication,” said NeuroRx CEO Jonathan Javitt.

The goal of the clinical trial was to see whether similar observations would be confirmed for COVID-19 patients will respiratory failure. Later this month, an independent data monitoring committee is set to conduct an interim analysis of the data obtained from the trial.

coronavirus COVID-19 testing australia
COVID-19 testing staff are seen at a pop-up site at Keilor Community Hub on June 24, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. A man in his 80s died overnight in Victoria from coronavirus, bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 20. The death is the first COVID-19 fatality for Victoria in many weeks and also comes as 20 new coronavirus cases were confirmed today. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday warned of another possible lockdown should cases continue to rise, and has extended the state of emergency for at least four weeks to allow police the power to enforce social distancing rules. Daniel Pockett/Getty Images

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