Sky Foundation Was First to Fund Drug Now in Clinical Trials for COVID-19

WXYZ announced in news this afternoon that a doctor funded by Sky Foundation, Inc, Asfar Azmi, PhD is involved in COVID-19 tested treatments.

An oral therapy that has been studied in laboratory experiments and clinical trials at Karmanos Cancer Institute will enter clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19.

Selinexor is approved at higher doses by the FDA as a treatment for cancer patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.

Asfar Azmi, Ph.D., assistant professor, co-leader, Tumor Biology and Microenvironment Research Program, Karmanos Cancer Institute and Wayne State University School of Medicine and director of pancreas cancer research initiatives led the Karmanos team that helped develop the drug.

Clinical trials exploring the use of the drug in treating COVID-19 will soon be underway at 40 locations internationally.

“The fascinating thing about this trial is that we are able to apply information learned about the drug’s effect on tumor cell biology to the treatment of deadly viral infections using lower doses of the drug than we typically use to treat cancer,” said Jeffrey Zonder, M.D., who will be the Principle Investigator (PI) for the upcoming trial at Karmanos.

“I am very proud that the work of our investigators is contributing to the fight against COVID-19. I congratulate the team in helping to develop a drug that is finding applications beyond cancer treatment,” said Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Karmanos Cancer Institute.


To learn more about Dr. Azmi’s project funded by Sky Foundation click Here.

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