(p. A19) Americans would have the confidence to return to work, even if the virus is still circulating in the fall, if they knew that a robust screening system is in place to identify and arrest new outbreaks and medication can significantly reduce the chance of becoming severely ill. Kevin Warsh, a former Federal Reserve governor, estimates that such a drug could restore at least $1 trillion in economic activity.
. . . There are two promising approaches, and both could be available soon if government and private industry do things right. . . .
One approach involves antiviral drugs that target the virus and block its replication. Think of medicines for treating influenza, HIV or cold sores. The drugs work by blocking the mechanisms that viruses use to replicate. . . .
The other approach involves antibody drugs, which mimic the function of immune cells. Antibody drugs can be used to fight an infection and to reduce the risk of contracting Covid-19. These medicines may be the best chance for a meaningful near-term success.
Antibody drugs are based on the same scientific principles that make “convalescent plasma” one interim tactic for treating the sickest Covid-19 patients. Doctors are taking blood plasma from patients who have recovered from Covid-19 and infusing it into those who are critically ill. The plasma is laden with antibodies, and the approach shows some promise. The constraint: There isn’t enough plasma from recovered patients to go around.
For the full commentary, see:
Scott Gottlieb. “Bet Big on Treatments for Coronavirus; Antivirals and antibody therapies are showing promise. The FDA needs to step up its pace.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, April 6, 2020): A19.
(Note: ellipses added.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date April 5, 2020, and has the same title as the print version.)