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Valdosta State chemistry students, staff work towards cure for COVID-19

Posted at 6:34 PM, May 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-11 18:34:07-04

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WTXL) — Students in the chemistry department at Valdosta State are developing an antiviral drug to help fight COVID-19.

The group was working on a solution to treat cancer, but when COVID-19 popped up they decided to switch their focus.

The bacteria they're using to develop the anti-viral was found in the ocean.

"We have two applications with the National Institute of Health pending to get the drugs tested," said Dr. Thomas Manning, a professor at VSU. "That's kind of working our way up. I would say we're definitely underdogs because if you look at a lot of the people that the Federal Government is working with it's big pharmaceutical companies.

"The more we work and the harder we work, It's like the better we will be able to give a good treatment," said Jenu Thomas-Richardson, a student at VSU. "Hopefully one that works well and after it's gone through pre-clinical trials. Hopefully we'll go through clinical trials."

It usually takes the National Institute of Health six months to process an application.

However, because the demand is so high for COVID-19 treatments the turnaround time has been cut down to about a week.