Coronavirus Patients Taken Off Ventilators After Getting Experimental HIV Drug

Two coronavirus patients in New York City are off ventilators and out of intensive care after they received an experimental drug to treat HIV and breast cancer.

As the skyrocketing number of cases stretches city hospitals to the limit, doctors are racing to find out which drugs on the market or in development might help in fighting the infection.

The drug, leronlimab, is delivered by injection twice in the abdomen, the Daily Mail reported.

Of seven critically ill patients who received the drug in New York, two were removed from ventilators and two showed significant improvement.

Doctors right now don’t know quite how leronlimab works, but studies suggest it calms the overly aggressive immune response — known as a cytokine storm — that frequently leads to lung inflammation, pneumonia and potentially death.

CytoDyn, the drug’s manufacturer, could get FDA approval in six weeks if leronlimab continues to show promise. No drugs currently have FDA approval to treat the novel coronavirus.