LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Samantha Mottet doesn’t remember much from the weeks she fought off COVID-19.

Samantha Mottet credits the drug “leronlimab” for her recovery from COVID-19.

“I was just so tired, I was just sleeping and didn’t even realize how sick [I was],” she said. “I literally just slept constantly.”

The 55-year-old from Seal Beach said she began showing symptoms around mid-March, when she stopped eating and drinking and had a fever. Just over a week after testing positive, she was checked into the UCLA Medical Center.

“My husband said I had been vomiting and having diarrhea and I didn’t even realize,” Mottet said. “That whole week was just a complete blur to me.”

Mottet was on a ventilator in the ICU, where doctors tried two treatments that didn’t work. That’s when her doctor and family approached Dr. Otto Yang, a professor of medicine at UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine, who is leading a clinical trial of a drug called “leronlimab.”

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Researchers are administering the drug to COVID-19 patients across the country as a new potential treatment, and Yang offered Mottet a spot in his trial.

Yang said “leronlimab” is an artifical antibody that works against the second phase of the COVID-19. That’s when the body’s immune system overreacts in response to the virus. It’s administered through an injection under the skin.

“That reaction causes a lot of collateral damage so a lot of the inflammation in the lungs that causes people not to be able to breathe is this collateral damage,” Yang said. “So the idea is that it will reduce the amount of inflammation in the lungs.”

At this point, doctors can’t know for sure whether “leronlimab” is solely responsible for Mottet’s recovery. However, Yang said he believes there is strong evidence to support this theory.

“In 24 hours, she started requiring less oxygen on the ventilators, and 48 hours after that, she was able to come off the ventilator all together,” Yang said. ‘Then a couple of days after that, she didn’t require any oxygen at all.”

“Leronlimab” is currently in the process of being approved by the FDA to treat HIV. Researchers hope it will soon prove useful in fighting coronavirus.

Mottet believes “leronlimab” is the reason she’s going home from the hospital today.

“This coronavirus did really knock me down,” she said. “But the drug, in my opinion, has done a wonderful job bringing me back.”

Comments (21)
  1. jeff says:

    Leronlimab is the key to regaining our normal society once again. If given the chance. Let us pray.

  2. Leronlimab has successfully taken intubated patients off the tubes within a few days in NYC. That was almost two weeks ago. Leronlimab has been tested on over 800 people in clinical trials already. The FDA should not be forcing another trial while people are dying. It’s already been proven safe. They should just give it to people. The UK prime minister got better two days after the UK ordered Leronlimab. Coincidence? Yes, Leronlimab was intended for HIV treatment but has been found to treat cancer too. It stops the cytokine storm. The original drug from this company Cytodyn was Cytolin, which did the same thing. Cyto…get it.

  3. Robert Klein says:

    It’s a wonderful story, but also speaks volumes about the near-criminal malfeasance of the FDA. There is a ton of evidence that Leronlimab is effective and safe, too, but here we are 2.5 months after Samantha Mottet went home, and still the FDA is hemming and hawing.

    Well, maybe something is afoot since manufacturer Cytodyne’s stock has been soaring for 3 days straight on absolutely no public news. But even if big news breaks soon, that doesn’t excuse all the time wasted waiting for lengthy clinical trials when the initial results were better than the standard of care by far. Why is standard of care so sacred when it doesn’t work??? The death rate (and permanent injuries to many survivors) was horrific, but the FDA wanted a level of proof wholly inappropriate to the situation.

    The FDA must be reformed and brought under more scrutiny by governing bodies to prevent the unintentional but nonetheless obvious cruetly that stops people from getting promising and safe experimental treatments for deadly conditions.

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