New Anti-Viral Drug Study Offering COVID-19 Hope

A new study being tested on high-risk groups may become a breakthrough for COVID-19 and other viral infections. This could benefit both health care works and long-term care residents.

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New Anti-Viral Drug Study Offering COVID-19 Hope
2 Min Read April 30th, 2020

A pharmaceutical company announced the start of two clinical trials of an anti-viral medication to be used in the COVID-19 fight.

Romark Pharmaceuticals, headquartered in Tampa, Florida, said the testing would be focused first on high-risk populations, including elderly residents of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers.

The drug candidate, NT-300 (nitazoxanide extended-release tablets), is intended for the prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses.

“Prevention is an important strategy in controlling infectious diseases and could be especially important in the context of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ability of NT-300 to thwart infection of human cells by viruses supports an investigation for its use early in the course of infection to prevent disease. We look forward to learning more about its potential for managing COVID-19 and other serious viral illnesses,” said in a statement from Jean-François Rossignol, M.D., Ph.D., Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of Romark.


One of the main ingredients of this experimental drug is Nitazoxanide. Marc Ayers, President and Chief Executive Officer of Romark Pharmaceuticals, told LTC NEWS that more than 400 million people – including the elderly and people with pre-existing conditions – have been treated with Nitazoxanide. The primary reported side effects have been abdominal pain, headache, chromaturia, and nausea.

Ayers said there had been no important safety concerns concerning the use of the product for the treatment of intestinal parasitic infections in the elderly population or persons with pre-existing health issues. NT-300 is formulated differently and contains a different dosage. 

In clinical trials of NT-300, the most common adverse events have been diarrhea and chromaturia, and the side effects do not differ based upon age, according to Ayers.

“There have been no significant safety concerns with respect to use of the product in the elderly population or persons with pre-existing health issues,” he explained.

Two Trials with High-Risk Groups

The company is conducting two clinical trials. One is focused on those age 65+ who live in long-term care facilities, and the other will enroll 800 U.S. healthcare workers (aged 18 to 64 years old) who are at risk of exposure to the coronavirus. They are first putting their full attention on the high-risk populations.

Romark says they plan to begin enrolling patients in these two trials in May. The company says the completion will depend on when full enrollment is achieved, but it could be as soon as August. 

“If the trials show NT-300 is effective, we will work with the FDA to apply for approval very soon after the completion of the trials,” according to Ayers.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

The current virus crisis is showing the importance of planning in advance for the financial impact of aging and the changes health and frailty have on our family and finances. Most people have always expressed a preference of staying at home when they get to the point of requiring long-term care services. The avoidance of nursing homes is a primary goal for many people.

Long-Term Care Insurance Offers Choice

The guaranteed tax-free resources of affordable Long-Term Care Insurance gives you, and your family, the choice of selecting the type and quality of care you will receive in the future. Not only will you be able to safeguard your savings and income, but you will also give your family the time to be family.

Ignoring the issue is not a recommended way to plan. Too many people put off decisions until they are in crisis mode. Experts point to all those American families who have been forced to sell off assets from their retirement accounts to pay for care. Today they are selling at a loss – but that loss is usually a taxable gain.

When you own a Long-Term Care policy, your benefits are both guaranteed and tax-free – allowing you to shelter your hard-earn savings. The policy will protect your lifestyle and legacy in addition to giving you access to quality care.

Research Options Before Retirement

The time to plan is ideally in your 40s or 50s when you can enjoy low premiums and many options. Start your research by using the resources on LTC NEWS. This includes the LTC NEWS cost of care calculator. This calculator will show you both the current and future costs of extended care where you live. Just click here to access the information.

Be sure to seek the right help. Avoid a financial planner or general insurance agent who has little experience in this area and usually only works with one insurance company. A specialist should:

  1. Work with the top insurance companies.
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LTC NEWS can match you with an experienced and trusted Long-Term Care specialist. Click here to find a specialist.

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