Health Team

Researcher: Mix of therapies attacks various problems caused by coronavirus

Ralph Baric, a researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill who helped develop remdesivir, discusses the drug's role in treating President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection.

Ralph Baric, a researcher at UNC-Chapel Hill who helped develop remdesivir, discusses the drug's role in treating President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection.

Reporter: David CrabtreeWeb Editor: Matthew BurnsPosted Updated
ADDING THAT HE IS HEADED TO UTAH, THIS WILL NOT DISRUPT HIS PLANS FOR A VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE AGAINST KAMALA HARRIS ON WEDNESDAY. >>> JUST BEFORE LEAVING THE HOSPITAL, THE PRESIDENT'S DOCTORS SAID, THAT HE WOULD RECEIVE HIS FOURTH DOSE OF TRANSFER 17, HIS FIFTH AND FINAL DOSE WILL COME TOMORROW EVENING, THE FIVE DAY TREATMENT FOR CORONAVIRUS PATIENTS, SPECIFICALLY DEVELOPED IN THE LAB OF DR. RALPH BARRY. AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR TALKING WITH US. >> IT'S A PLEASURE FOR BEING HERE. >> ARE YOU SURPRISED THAT THE PRESIDENT LEAVING AFTER THE FOURTH DOSE BEFORE IT'S ALL WRAPPED UP WITH DOSE NUMBER FIVE? >> TYPICALLY, IN MORE SEVERE CASES, YOU GO THROUGH THE ENTIRE FIVE DAY REGIMEN. IN A HOSPITAL SETTING AND IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE, THE PRESIDENT HAS HOSPITAL FACILITIES IN THE WHITE HOUSE THAT ARE NEARLY EQUIVALENT, IF NOT EQUIVALENT TO WALTER REED. >> THE PRESIDENT IS ALSO BEING TREATED WITH A STEROID, DEXAMETHASONE. DOCTORS THROUGH A LOT OF OPTIONS OUT THE PRESIDENT, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MIXING THE TREATMENT OPTIONS, IS THIS SAFE? >> THE PRESIDENT IS ON A TRIPLE COMBINATION THERAPY AND REMEMBER, SEVERE DISEASE IS CAUSED BY TWO PRINCIPAL MECHANISMS IN COVID-19, CELL TELLING, SO THE VIRUS KILL THE CELLS AND THE SECOND IS THAT THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE, THE IMMUNE RESPONSE THAT IS TYPICALLY DESIGNED TO REMOVE INFECTIONS CAUSES ADDITIONAL DAMAGE AND THAT CAN RESULT IN SEVERE DISEASE AND DEATH. SO THE PRESIDENT HAS RECEIVED A TRIPLE COMBINATION OF THERAPIES. FIRST, HUMAN ANTIBODIES AND THESE ANTIBODIES SPECIFICALLY SEEK OUT AND KILL VIRUS PARTICLES, SO THE VIRUS PARTICLES THAT ARE FLOATING AROUND IN THE LONG, LOOKING FOR NAOVE CELLS TO INFECT ARE BEING NEUTRALIZED. REMDESIVIR ATTACKS THE VIRUS FACTORS, THESE ARE THE CELLS THAT HAVE ALREADY BEEN INFECTED THAT POUR OUT THOUSANDS, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF NEW VIRUS PARTICLES THAT ARE SEEKING OUT NEW CELLS TO INFECT. SO THAT REDUCES THE ABILITY OF THE VIRUS TO PRODUCE, SO THE COMBINATION THERAPY THERE DOES A REALLY, REALLY EFFECTIVE JOB, THEORETICALLY, AT LEAST, OF REDUCING VIRUSES IN THE LUNGS OF INFECTED PATIENTS. THE TREATMENT IS DESIGNED TO BLOCK THE INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE. SO IT'S A NOVEL COMBINATION THERAPY THAT IS BEING USED FOR THE FIRST TIME TO MY KNOWLEDGE. >> OF THE NOVEL COMBINATION, MANY OF THESE TREATMENTS STILL NEED CLINICAL TRIALS. IS THE PRESIDENT SOMEONE YOU WOULD TEST TREATMENTS ON WHILE STILL IN TRIAL ARE THE TRIALS JUST BEYOND WHAT I REALLY NEEDED AFTER A CERTAIN POINT? >> THERE IS A FAIR AMOUNT OF PHASE TWO DATA ON THE ANTIBODY TREATMENTS AS BEING EFFECTIVE IF GIVEN EARLY. REMDESIVIR IS BEEN HEAVILY TESTED AND IT'S VERY EFFECTIVE IF GIVEN EARLY AND DEXAMETHASONE HAS BEEN TESTED TO BE EFFECTIVE AT REDUCING DEATH, IF GIVEN EARLY, CAN CAUSE SEVERE DISEASE AND DEATH. EACH HAS BEEN TESTED SEPARATELY, THEY HAVE BEEN COMBINED TOGETHER, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, AND TESTED IN COMBINATION. SO IT IS AN INTERESTING EXPERIMENTAL PROCEDURE AHEAD OF THE FREE WORLD. >> THE LEADER OF THE FREE WORLD, TWO VERY IMPORTANT VISUALS, I DON'T KNOW IF YOU COULD SEE WHAT WAS HAPPENING AT THE WHITE HOUSE, I KNOW YOU COULD HEAR OUR COVERAGE, THERE'S BEEN A LOT ALREADY THAT THE PRESIDENT TOOK HIS MASK OFF BEFORE HE WALKED INTO THE RESIDENCE, THAT HE ALSO WALKED UP THE STAIRWAY TO GET THERE, FOR SOMEONE JUST OUT OF THE HOSPITAL AFTER 72 HOURS OF TREATMENT OF COVID-19, IT LOOKED LIKE HE WAS BREATHING A LITTLE HEAVILY ONCE HE GOT TO THE TOP, PRETTY REMARKABLE SEEING ON BOTH OF THOSE EVENTS, WHAT YOU MAKE OF THAT? >> WELL, AGAIN, THAT IS BEEN STATED BY SCIENTISTS ACROSS THE UNITED STATES, SOCIAL DISTANCING AND MASKS ARE THE BEST DETECTION THAT ANYONE IN THE PUBLIC AND HAVE AGAINST ACQUIRING THIS INFECTION AND PREVENT SPREADING IT TO OTHERS, SO OBVIOUSLY THAT FLIES IN THE FACE OF THAT. I WANT TO TAKE A STEP BACK AND MENTION ABOUT TRIPLE COMBINATION THERAPY, IT'S NOT AVAILABLE TO THE REST OF US SIMPLY BECAUSE THERE IS INSUFFICIENT AMOUNTS OF THE THERAPEUTIC ANTIBODIES AND THE REMDESIVIR WILL BE USED ON EVERY SINGLE COVID-19 PATIENT AT THIS PARTICULAR TIME. >> YOU JUST ANSWER THE QUESTION I WAS GOING TO ASK. ONE LAST THING, VERY QUICKLY, TO THE WHITE HOUSE CONTACT YOU FOR CONSULTATION OR DID DOCTORS CONTACT YOU ABOUT THIS TREATMENT? >> NO, I WAS NOT INVOLVED IN THE CONSULTATION AT ALL. I WOULD SAY ON A THEORETICAL BASIS, MOST OF THE BIOLOGISTS AND PHYSICIANS WHO ARE TREATING COVID-19 ARE MOVING TOWARDS A COMBINATION THERAPY LIKE THIS THAT TARGETS BOTH DESTRUCTIVE ARMS OF THIS DISEASE, THE VIRUS KILLING AND IMMUNE CELL DYSREGULATION. >> WE DO WISH THE PRESIDENT AND ANYONE WHO HAS BEEN INFECTED WITH THIS VIRUS A SPEEDY



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