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Rutgers Researchers Work on Breakthrough COVID-19 Treatment

by Briana Vannozzi, Anchor, NJ Spotlight News

This story is being republished under a special NJ News Commons content-sharing agreement. Link to video:

Researchers at Rutgers University are working on a potential COVID-19 treatment breakthrough that could be effective on future drug-resistant strains of the coronavirus. The potential treatment could also supplement or replace Paxlovid, the medication currently used to prevent death and hospitalizations in high-risk patients.

“There are two main problems associated with Paxlovid,” lead researcher Dr. Jun Wang, an associate professor of medicinal chemistry at Rutgers, said in an interview with NJ Spotlight News. “One is the drug interaction problem—so, for patients with underlying diseases and also taking other medications, Paxlovid cannot be used. Another potential problem is drug-resistant issues, and researchers have found that viruses can evolve to become resistant to Paxlovid.”

A study by the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Census Bureau suggests that up to 14% of adults in New Jersey meet the criteria for having long COVID-19 after initial infection, with a nebulous list of symptoms that can linger for months or longer. COVID-19 remains the nation’s third-leading cause of death and researchers say there’s a massive need for more treatment options.