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Coronavirus: Doctor with local ties thinks he has a way to fight the virus

WHIO Dayton logo WHIO Dayton 3/5/2020 Breaking News Staff
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A former Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine student has used his expertise to come up with a method he thinks could fight the coronavirus.

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"It's really not the virus per se that is killing people. It's the immune response that is killing people," Dr. Tom Pitts told News Center 7's Monica Castro. 

Pitts said his expertise in in treating neuro-immunological diseases. He deals with patients who suffer from rare autoimmune disorders. 

The director of Neurology at Hudson Medical in Manhattan, N.Y., wants to use a medication called "Soliris," which allows him to manipulate how the immune system works. 

"So by dialing down the immune system the hope is that a patient would get the virus, get sick, be quarantined," he said. "Their immune system would be regulated in a way that they could fight off the virus but not hurt or kill them." 

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Pitts said he has an established clinical trial "and I would have FDA emergency permission on a case-by- case basis." 

But he doesn't have any participants, no sponsors or backing from the drug-maker. 

Future patients would get a dose of medicine and after beating the virus, he said, part of the treatment would involve drawing blood "in the hopes of finding an anti-body after the fight so that we can research it for a potential vaccine development. " 

Pitts wants to see if his technique will help in the fight against the coronavirus. 

"I feel like time is of the essence," he said.

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