ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – University of New Mexico doctors are treating the first COVID-19 patient to get a new experimental drug. UNM says the drug is for severe cases where patients suffer from acute breathing and kidney problems. The new drug therapy is supposed to drive down life-threatening inflammation in the body.

“We’re using stem cell therapy to counteract an overactive immune system that is definitely a part of the COVID disease,” said Pedro Teixeria, assistant professor at the Department of Internal Medicine at UNM Hospital.

Sentien Biotechnologies, out of Massachusetts, developed the drug; The first COVID-19 patient to be treated with it right here in New Mexico is now enrolled in a clinical trial to study its effects.