AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV) shares popped Tuesday after researchers found that the large-cap pharma's cholesterol-lowering drug Tricor could work against SARS-CoV2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
What Happened: Researchers at Israel's Hebrew University and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York said FDA-approved Tricor could potentially downgrade COVID-19's severity into "nothing worse than a common cold," Israeli media reported.
Tricor impairs the replicating potential of the new coronavirus or even could eradicate it, the reports said, citing Hebrew University professor Ya'acov Nahmias and Sinai's Dr. Benjamin tenOever.
How Tricor Acts: Following three months of in vitro, or lab, studies and a review of eight already approved drugs, the researchers found that Tricor burns fat, causing the virus to disappear with merely five days of treatment.
SARS-Co-V2 was found to impede with the carbohydrate metabolism, leading to the accumulation of fat inside the lung cells, which in turn provides a conducive environment for the thriving of the virus.
Tricor's fat-burning mechanism comes in handy to make the environment inclement for the virus, leading to its eventual elimination, studies found.
What's Next? The researchers are advancing the drug into animal studies in the U.S. With the safety of Tricor already proved, they hope to fast track clinical studies both in the U.S. and Israel within the next couple of weeks.
After advancing 2.27% to $98.87 in Tuesday's session, AbbVie shares were up 0.95% to $99.81 on Wednesday morning.
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