Press Releases

Grothman Statement on Fenofibrate’s Effect on COVID-19

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Washington, July 21, 2020 | Timothy Svoboda (2022252476) | comments

Today, Congressman Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) released the following statement after a study released by Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working in conjunction with New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, suggested that the FDA-approved drug Fenofibrate may have an impact in fighting COVID-19.

“I am extremely encouraged with the results of these studies,” said Grothman. “These are the kinds of multi-disciplinary approaches and treatments the federal government and public health officials should take notice of and be focusing on instead of simply waiting around for a vaccine to come to fruition. Boosting our immune system and promoting treatments that slow and prevent the virus from replicating are approaches that can potentially save lives – right now. During a global health crisis of this magnitude, we should be exploring every avenue available to fight the virus and I urge the CDC to actively pursue this lead.”

Background Information

Last week, research teams at Israel’s Hebrew University of Jerusalem, working in conjunction with New York’s Mount Sinai Medical Center on COVID-19 treatments and therapeutics, released a study that suggests the FDA-approved cholesterol drug Fenofibrate, the generic form of the brand name drug Tricor, may significantly downgrade COVID-19’s severity and symptoms. The medical teams were led by Hebrew University Professor Ya’acov Nahimas and Sinai’s Dr. Benjamin tenOever.

During their research into the novel coronavirus and studies conducted on human lung tissue, the team found that COVID-19 prevents the routine burning of carbohydrates, which leads to accumulation of fat inside the lung cells, essentially feeding the virus and allowing it to reproduce as it causes inflammation throughout individuals respiratory system. After this discovery, the team then reviewed a panel of eight FDA approved drugs they believed could interfere with the virus’s ability to reproduce. Fenofibrate (Tricor) caused the cells to start burning fat and significantly affected COVID-19’s ability to reproduce and survive. These studies were conducted and evaluated over a three-month period. The result of these studies were that “the virus almost completely disappeared within only five days of treatment”, according to the Jerusalem Post.

The lab studies were conducted in both Israel and New York and were replicated several times with different samples of human lung tissue. Nahmias said he strongly believes the experiment is highly repeatable in other labs. The potential treatment will now advance to animal studies in New York with hopes to fast-track clinical studies in both Israel and the US within the next few weeks. Because the drug is already FDA tested and approved, this research has to potential to help us combat COVID-19 sooner rather than later.

Click here to read the Jerusalem Post article

Click here to read the article published by Pharmaceutical-technology.com

“‘By understanding how the SARS-CoV-2 controls our metabolism, we can wrestle back control from the virus and deprive it from the very resources it needs to survive,’ Nahmias said, noting that it also may help explain why patients with high blood sugar and cholesterol levels are often at a particularly high risk to develop COVID-19.” Quote from Professor Nahimas to the Jerusalem Post.

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U.S. Rep. Glenn Grothman is serving his third term representing Wisconsin’s 6th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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