COVID-19 Research: Various Emerging Studies Show Low Levels Of Gelsolin, An Immune System Protein Is Linked To COVID-19 Severity
: Various new emerging studies are indicating that that l
ow levels of gelsolin, an immune system protein are associated with severe illness and organ failure in COVID-19 patients.
The focus on gelsolin levels and its correlations to COVID-19 severity was initially brought up by BioAegis Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage, private company developing therapies for infectious, inflammatory and degenerative diseases through a portfolio built around gelsolin technology.
BioAegis is currently conducting a clinical trial of recombinant human plasma gelsolin (rhu-pGSN) in severe COVID-19 patients to supplement gelsolin levels with the objective of preventing severe outcomes such as organ failure and mortality.
Gelsolin has been demonstrated to regulate the over exuberant inflammatory response without suppressing the body’s immune response in multiple experimental models.
Susan Levinson, PhD, CEO of BioAegis,told Thailand Medical News, “Previous studies in a wide range of inflammatory and injurious human conditions report plasma gelsolin depletion to be predictive of poor outcomes and associated with organ damage. These independent studies that confirm similar findings in COVID-19 support the hypothesis that rhu-pGSN supplementation in these patients could reduce morbidity and mortality. We are enrolling patients now in our Phase 2 trial to save lives in this devastating disease.”
A clinical study of 128 respiratory patients which monitored thousands of diverse biomolecules from patients with and without COVID-19, gelsolin depletion was associated with poor outcomes.
That clinical study was published on a preprint server and is yet to have been peer-reviewed. https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.07.17.20156513v1
It was observed in that stud that ICU patients had decreased gelsolin levels which correlated with the Sequential Organ Failure Assessment (SOFA) scores (p-value = 0.000045), a measure of the number and severity of organ dysfunction in six organ systems (respiratory, coagulation, liver, cardiovascular, renal, and neurologic).
The researchers of that study said “These findings also indicate that pGSN supplementation has excellent potential as a COVID-19 therapeutic. Indeed, pGSN is known to decrease in acute lung injury, and in animal models of lung injury repletion of pGSN has favorable effects.”
In a second study, researchers evaluated 27 potential protein biomarkers in samples collected from a cohort of 31 hospitalized cases.
The study findings were published in the journal: Cell Systems https://www.cell.com/cell-systems/pdfExtended/S2405-4712(20)30197-6
The study team reported
association of gelsolin levels with severity of COVID-19 using the World Health Organization (WHO) scale of clinical status (p= 0.0017) and referenced gelsolin’s ability to modul
ate inflammation and protect lung tissue.
They team suggested, “
The development of therapies to stabilize the gelsolin levels could hence be of direct therapeutic value for treating COVID-19.”
Ms Levinson from BioAegis, Gelsolin supplementation is a host-based approach to quell the cytokine storm.
The human protein Gelsolin, a naturally occurring that is abundant in healthy individuals, is a key component of the body’s innate immune system.
The protein is said to be a ‘master regulator of inflammation’.
In the case of severe injury or infection, the body’s supply of gelsolin becomes depleted, which can lead to an over exuberant inflammatory response, organ damage, and death, as seen in COVID-19.
It is believed that supplementing depleted systemic levels of gelsolin with rhu-pGSN, has enormous potential to prevent debilitating and potentially lethal ravages of inflammation, without compromising its essential function to fight infection and promote repair.
Currently Rhu-pGSN is
being evaluated as an adjunctive treatment, added to standard of care, for severe COVID-19 pneumonia patients, as part of BioAegis’ Phase 2 clinical trial of rhu-pGSN. https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04358406
BioAegis has the exclusive license to broad, worldwide intellectual property of gelsolin through Harvard-Brigham and Women’s Hospital. It holds over 40 patents issued for coverage of infection, inflammatory disease, renal failure, multiple sclerosis and other neurologic diseases.
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