Scientists, researchers at Penn search for cure, treatment for COVID-19

Alicia Vitarelli Image
Friday, April 24, 2020
Scientists, researchers at Penn search for cure, treatment for COVID-19
Penn doctor and his team chase a cure for COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- A group of scientists and researchers at Perelman School of Medicine at University of Penn have spent the past few years vigorously searching for a cure for Castleman Disease, a rare disorder attacks the body's lymph nodes.

This team is now shifting to also find a cure and treatment for COVID-19.

It's all spearheaded by Dr. David Fajgenbaum, a Castleman survivor, physician and self proclaimed disease hunter.

Now, Fajgenbaum is on a quest to also crack the code to the current crisis.

Fajgenbaum designed his own experimental treatment course, and is hoping they can do the same for COVID-19 patients.

"I am alive today thanks to a drug that was developed for another condition that I started re-purposing for myself," Fajgenbaum says. "My disease, Castleman Disease, has a lot of overlap with COVID-19, so we are trying to dig through drugs that already exists that can be re-purposed."

There are 1,500 drugs that are already FDA approved, that they are looking into Fajgenbaum says.

Fajgenbaum has made it his life's mission. Now, he's chasing another. His team, his labs, were designed for this exact kind of medical research.

"We have to turn out hope into action," Fajgenbaum said. "If we are scientists, we have to take action against COVID-19 to make progress."

For those who are not scientists, Fajgenbaum says we can also take action by staying home and staying safe.

Fajgenbaum has been in remission for five and a half years.