KNOW Bio: Nitric oxide could help combat coronavirus

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While vaccines have dominated the conversation about crushing coronavirus, a local company is working on a potential cure. Research Triangle Park-based KNOW Bio believes with more testing, it’s found a game-changing way to kill coronavirus.

The company’s CEO Neal Hunter has had some innovative success in the past. Hunter co-founded the breakthrough LED technology company CREE. Now, he’s got his sights set on coronavirus.

“Not only can we kill SARS COV-2 [the human coronavirus that causes COVID-19], but we can also kill influenza as a virus,” explained Hunter.

He said his team confirmed nitric oxide, a molecule made by the body, kills 99.9 % of the virus and keeps it from replicating.

“It had been long known to be a vasodilator, so it regulates blood flow in your body. [It’s] also an anti-infective and anti-viral,” he explained. “It was known to be kind of like the wonder compound, but no one could make it because it wants to be a gas.”

Nitric oxide should not be to be confused with nitrous oxide, often called laughing gas, which is used at dentists’ offices. The problem is nitric oxide gas can be deadly, so KNOW Bio found ways to convert it to a compound. Employees are already researching its effectiveness to help treat Cystic Fibrosis.

The company hopes to win emergency use authorization from the Food and Drug Administration to move forward with toxicology and human trials with a lofty long term goal.

“Think about it. This is a small company in North Carolina, and we have developed something that can cure every bad bug known to man. This is something that eight billion people in the world could use,” said Hunter.

Hunter added that the treatment would likely be administered through a nebulizer that patients breathe in. KNOW Bio sees great promise, but the company still has a long way to go before it could be an approved treatment.

Original Article Source: WRAL TechWire