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Durham biotech startup believes its experimental treatment could fight off COVID-19

KNOW Bio, a biotechnology startup in Research Triangle Park, has joined the raft of companies around the world trying to see if their existing technology might have some effect in the fight against the coronavirus.

The startup, led by Cree cofounder Neal Hunter, says that it has shown, in cell trials, that a nitric oxide solution can effectively stop SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from replicating.

Nitric oxide is a molecule that the human body makes on its own. While it is a gas, it is not nitrous oxide, which is often referred to as laughing gas. Nitric oxide can be used to regulate blood flow, and some hospitals, like Massachusetts General Hospital, are testing whether it can help COVID-19 patients breathe more easily.

KNOW Bio’s experiment, which is using technology from UNC researcher Mark Schoenfisch’s lab, is trying to determine if it can be used as an antiviral as well.

The company’s cell experiments, which were conducted by an independent lab, sought to learn if the compound can slow viral RNA production and stop the spread of infection from cell to cell.

Original Article Source: News & Observer