Federal officials give UIC $6M to test COVID-19 treatment

The University of Illinois Chicago has received $6 million from the federal government to test a potential drug to treat COVID-19.

Researchers say the drug candidate, called VT-109, has been shown to help restore function to damaged lungs, among other things. The drug, administered as an intravenous treatment, will be tested in pre-clinical animal models of COVID-19 to determine efficacy and toxicity before human trials are considered.

The money is through a technology and therapeutic development award from the U.S. Department of Defense, university officials announced in a recent news release.


Researchers hope the testing will culminate in an application to a U.S. Food and Drug Administration program overseeing how potential drugs are evaluated for human clinical trials. It could take three or more years to get to that point, researchers estimate.

Research on the drug has already been funded by awards from UIC and the National Institutes of Health, among others.