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U. researchers develop possible alternative to COVID-19 medication

Rutgers researchers developed a medication that could be an alternative to Paxlovid, a medicine prescribed to high-risk COVID-19 patients that can also have severe side effects.  – Photo by NIAID /

Rutgers researchers have begun developing a possible alternative to the COVID-19 medication Paxlovid, according to Gothamist.

Jun Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry and the lead researcher on the project, said drug-resistant strains of the virus may start spreading at any time.

"When it becomes a problem, we want to have something in hand," he said. 

Paxlovid is a medication that is prescribed to combat COVID-19 symptoms and reduce hospitalization risks, but it is prescribed infrequently. This could be due to severe side effects that may occur when the medication is combined with other drugs that patients may be taking, according to the article.

Wang's research utilized existing COVID-19 strains as well as lab-developed, drug-resistant strains of this virus. The research demonstrated that this newly developed drug may not have the same intense side effects as Paxlovid when interacting with other drugs in the patient's system.

This research is part of a larger initiative from the National Institute of Health, which is promoting scientists to research treatments relating to COVID-19, according to the article.  

Wang said marketing the drug will be a difficult process, and it will take time before this new medication is officially on the market.  

"We just want to broadcast (our findings) and tell people this is highly promising," he said.

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