Darnisha Harrison, founder and CEO of Ennaid Therapeutics says that scientists working for her company have found a drug that is showing promise in laboratories at blocking the continued spread of COVID-19. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, her company uses its artificial intelligence (AI)-based drug discovery platforms to develop antiviral drugs.
Both BET News and WBRZ-TV, an ABC News affiliate in Baton Rouge, have confirmed that Harrison, who graduated from Louisiana State University, has already filed a patent after discovering a drug that shows strong scientific evidence of blocking two proteins that cause COVID-19 from invading healthy host cells and replicating.
The drug is called ENU200, a repurposed, patent-pending, an orally deliverable antiviral drug that was previously approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a different indication.
“The FDA has been very supportive at fast-tracking review every step of the way, and that is true around the world,” Harrison told WBRZ-TV. “We anticipate the clinical trials could start within 90 days. The clinical trial itself could take a month. We feel quite optimistic that in the 120-day window, when our clinical material would be ready, we could have a drug that could be safe and effective at treating COVID-19.”
Before founding Ennaid Therapeutics, she spent three years as a scientist, most notably at Amgen and the University of Georgia, and 16 years in Business Development/Licensing as a Director working for various companies within the pharmaceutical research & development industry.