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Source: COVID-19 Research  May 14, 2020  15 days ago
COVID-19 Research: Cedars-Sinai Uses Heart Stem Cells To Reduce Inflammation In COVID-19 Patients
COVID-19 Research: Cedars-Sinai Uses Heart Stem Cells To Reduce Inflammation In COVID-19 Patients
Source: COVID-19 Research  May 14, 2020  15 days ago
COVID-19 Research: According to a case series published by Cedars-Sinai and Capricor Therapeutics, four of six critically ill COVID-19  patients significantly improved after receiving an experimental therapeutic involving heart stem cells designed to reduce inflammation, a major cause of death from this disease. The four patients got well enough to be discharged from the hospital.


 
The new tested therapeutic, known as CAP-1002, contains cardiosphere-derived cells or CDCs that are grown in the laboratory from human heart tissues. Past preclinical and clinical research showed that the CDCs, originally created by a process developed to treat heart failure, can help the whole body.

The researchers emphasized that the patient outcomes, while encouraging, are not sufficient to prove that CAP-1002 is safe and effective for treating COVID-19 because this was not a clinical trial with a control group.

The study findings were published in the scientific journal Basic Research in Cardiology, is believed to be the first peer-reviewed report on using a cell therapy in critically ill COVID-19 patients, according to Dr Eduardo Marbán, MD, PhD, executive director of the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00395-020-0795-1

In the study, all six patients in the case series suffered from respiratory failure and required supplemental oxygen prior to receiving the cell therapy; five were on ventilators. Within four days after infusion with CAP-1002, four patients were able to breathe without respiratory support, and within less than three weeks, the four were well enough to be discharged from the hospital. As of April 28, the two other patients remained hospitalized in intensive care.
 
During the treatment, none of the patients showed adverse effects from the infusions, and none died during the study period. By comparison, six patients died among a group of 34 comparable COVID-19 patients who were treated in Cedars-Sinai's intensive care unit around the same time but who did not receive the cell therapy.

The COVID-19 patients in the case series were treated at Cedars-Sinai under emergency use provisions, which allows use of therapies not yet approved by the US FDA to treat seriously ill patients when no other treatments are available.
 
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Dr Narban explained, "Past studies provided strong evidence that CDCs have intense benefits for the immune system and inflammation in a number of diseases. They accomplish this by secreting exosomes or nanoscale vesicles with a variety of active contents that travel widely throughout the body."

Dr Marbán said this anti-inflammatory effect could be a critical boost for coronavirus patients. Current information, he explained, indicates that the body's overreaction to the COVID-19 infection, rather than the virus itself, often delivers the fatal blow, especially in later stages of the disease.

Dr Marbán, a Professor of Cardiology and co-author of the study said, "'Friendly fire' is what's killing many COVID-19 patients. The immune system unleashes a so-called cytokine storm into the blood overwhelming the body with infection-fighting proteins that can trigger multiple-organ failure and death."

Dr Raj Makkar, MD, the principal author, said the research team is planning a future clinical trial that would involve dividing a larger number of COVID-19 patients into two groups: those who receive the therapy and a control who do not. The team would then compare the outcome for the two groups.
 
Dr Markar said, "The only way to establish the efficacy of our therapy is with a randomized clinical trial. That is because some COVID-19 patients get better on their own with standard treatments."

Dr Makkar added that if the CDCs counteract immune overreaction in COVID-19 patients, the cells potentially could help prevent or treat two other life-threatening conditions that often develop during the course of the disease: acute respiratory distress and inflammation of the heart muscle, known as myocarditis.

The US FDA emergency use treatment was conducted in collaboration with the biotechnology company Capricor Therapeutics that is based Los Angeles, which provided regulatory support and manufactured the experimental agent  called CAP-1002.
 
For the latest developments on COVID-19 research, keep logging to Thailand Medical News
 
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