John Fahy directs the UCSF Severe Asthma Faculty Practice and the UCSF Airway Clinical Research Center. His NIH supported research program aims to uncover disease mechanisms and to develop disease biomarkers and novel treatments for airway disease. His program is truly translational, encompassing clinical trials and investigations in patients and studies of disease mechanisms in cell culture and animal model systems. In clinical studies his lab aims to provide a molecular understanding of the clinical heterogeneity of airway disease and to explore new treatment options. In bench laboratory studies his lab focuses on how pathologic mucus forms in the airway in acute and chronic airway disease, on development of mucolytic drugs, and on mechanisms of persistent type 2 inflammation in asthma. In therapeutics he has specific interest and expertise in thiol drugs and he has applied this expertise to studies of thiol drugs as therapeutics for COVID19.
Thiol Drugs to Treat COVID19
Thiol drugs have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that could limit SARS-CoV-2 lung injury or alter the redox status of the SARS-CoV-2 spike to disrupt ACE2 binding. We screened thiol drugs to show that they can act as virus entry inhibitors in vitro and modifiers of lung injury in hamsters.
The COVID-19 pandemic is driving the unprecedented transformation of the global medical research ecosystem through the search for effective new therapeutics that can help ease symptoms and prevent death among COVID-19 patients.