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[Slashdot] - Optical Mouse Inventor, Infoseek Founder Hunts For a Covid Cure


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Steve Kirsch has been interested in repurposing drugs since he was diagnosed with a rare blood cancer years ago. In an interview with IEEE Spectrum, he talks about his efforts to raise funds for Covid research, to get the word out about promising drugs, and to light a fire under the FDA. "If these guys were [working] in Silicon Valley, they'd be fired," he says. Specifically, Kirsch believes that fluvoxamine will be a game changer for treating Covid-19, as it's an inexpensive, easy-to-take pill with few side effects and has proven to prevent severe illness and death from the coronavirus. Here's an excerpt from the interview he had with IEEE Spectrum: Kirsch: We applied for an Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA [for fluvoxamine] in late January. Lately, we've been just trying to find out how that's going, like, 'What do you guys think? Can we have a conversation? We've got new data.' But they won't talk to us, they say it's in process, that we'll hear from them soon, likely in five weeks from submitting our request. But five, six weeks have come and gone, and we've heard nothing back on our application. Meanwhile, people are dying. If these guys were [working] in Silicon Valley, they'd be fired. Spectrum: And you got banned from Medium for writing about it. Kirsch: It's a Catch-22, you can't talk about it until it works but it can't work until you talk about it. I wrote on my Medium blog that fluvoxamine was successful in treating Covid, and that doxazosin [another drug, used to treat high blood pressure among other things] has a 75 percent chance of preventing hospitalization. I was reporting actual results of peer-reviewed studies. In response, Medium removed six years of blogs that I'd written about technology and banned me for life. In my appeal, I said there was no evidence that disputed what I said, and Medium never produced any evidence in response. Spectrum: You did get covered on 60 Minutes. [On March 7, the news magazine reported on the successful use of fluvoxamine off label to treat a COVID-19 outbreak at the Golden Gate Fields thoroughbred racetrack, with lots of puns about long shots and dark horses.] Kirsch: Yes, but you could easily watch that 60 Minutes story and believe that we need more data before people should start using fluvoxamine. But a panel of key opinion leaders from the NIH, CDC, and academia met in January and recommended that fluvoxamine be added to the NIH guidelines. They also recommended that doctors should talk to patients about using fluvoxamine for COVID in a process known as "shared decision making." And If you look at the website c19early.com, which rates the drugs with the best evidence, you'll see that the highest-rated FDA-approved drug is fluvoxamine. We shouldn't be ignoring it. Instead of doing nothing, we should be using the drug with the best evidence so far. If you were drowning and someone threw you a life preserver that had only been used 20 times, you don't throw it back complaining there isn't enough evidence that it works.

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