Scientists all over the world are trying to develop drugs to treat people with COVID-19 and a lot of that research is happening in the Bay Area including the Buck Institute for Research on Aging in Novato.
The institute has been doing research on aging for 20 years, but for the past two months, scientists have been involved in a study to come up with a way to treat people with COVID-19.
“We know as we age the aging process leads to a decrease of your ability to mount an immune response and we are coming to understand why that is,” said Buck Institute CEO Eric Verdin.
Some of the reasons are obvious. As people get older, their immune system gets weaker, but when it comes to fighting the virus, research said age is only one factor.
“Being older puts you at risk. It’s not only age it’s a number of chronic conditions may be associated with age,” Verdin said. “As it turns out, obesity is a significant risk factor for this virus.”
Verdin added that staying in shape is helpful, but th2 two-month study identified over 300 human proteins that the coronavirus uses to multiply in the human body.
Experts will use that information to hopefully develop an effective antiviral drug that can be used to treat patients in a few months.
“It’s easy to have a hypothesis and make a lot of noise about potential drugs is much harder to prove that it is effective,” Verdin said.