COVID-19 News: Role of Cell Therapies in COVID-19 Complications

Last updated: 04-07-2020

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COVID-19 News: Role of Cell Therapies in COVID-19 Complications

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a global pandemic that is threatening the viability of healthcare systems worldwide. The virus responsible for the disease is also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and abbreviated as SARS-CoV-2. The eruption started in China on December 29, 2019, and by March 2020, it had spread to at least 180 countries and territories worldwide.

In the articles below, we summarize the emerging role of cell therapies in managing the complications related to COVID-19. There are now dozens of cell therapy companies entering the race to find treatments approaches to the Coronavirus and its complications.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an emerging global pandemic that is threatening the viability of healthcare systems worldwide. The virus responsible for the disease is also known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 and abbreviated as SARS-CoV-2. Today, and the WHO International Clinical Trials Registry Platform (ICTRP) report a combined 29 trials (23 active / 6 withdrawn) exploring the use of stem cells for the treatment of COVID-19 related complications, the majority of which utilize MSCs.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in December 2019, the scientific community has been working fervently to combat the disease. Globally, scientists are exploring every weapon to suppress the threat. Approaches under investigation include vaccines, antibodies, antivirals, repurposed drugs, and perhaps most interestingly, living therapies with promising cell types such as natural killer (NK) cells, stem cells and exosomes. While many approaches are being investigated, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are showing intriguing promise for the treatment of COVID-19 related complications.

Monday, March 16, 2020 — A Phase 1 clinical trial evaluating an investigational vaccine designed to protect against coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has begun at Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Research Institute (KPWHRI) in Seattle. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, is funding the trial. The vaccine is called mRNA-1273 and was developed by NIAID scientists and their collaborators at Moderna, Inc.

BELGRADE, Mont. — Lattice Biologics Ltd. has begun enrolling patients in its Phase 1 clinical trial to address safety and efficacy of its novel stem cell technology, AmnioBoost, for the treatment of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) related to COVID-19 infection. AmnioBoost is derived from amniotic fluid taken from non-related, healthy, living donors during a Caesarian delivery. The baby is not harmed in any way.

With acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) identified as a leading cause of death in COVID-19 patients, Athersys is working fast to launch a pivotal trial of its MultiStem® cell therapy product for the treatment of this life-threatening condition. MultiStem® is the company’s allogeneic “off-the-shelf” bone marrow-derived stem cell product for the treatment of ARDS. Atherys’ MultiStem® cell therapy was designated as a “Highly Relevant” therapeutic for COVID-19 by BARDA.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass & HOUSTON- AlloVir, a late-clinical stage T-cell immunotherapy company, announced the expansion of its research and development collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine to include the discovery and development of allogeneic, off-the-shelf, virus specific T-cell therapies to combat SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

NEW YORK, March 10, 2020 — Mesoblast Limited (Nasdaq: MESO; ASX:MSB) announced that it plans to evaluate its allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) product candidate remestemcel-L in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, Australia, China and Europe. The Company is in active discussions with various government and regulatory authorities, medical institutions and pharmaceutical companies to implement these activities.

HAIFA, Israel, March 30, 2020 —Pluristem Therapeutics (PSTI), a leading regenerative medicine company, announced it has dosed three patients in two different hospitals in Israel under a compassionate use program for the treatment of COVID-19, as approved by the Israeli Ministry of Health. Pluristem expects to enroll additional patients in Israel in the coming days and anticipates providing updates on clinical outcomes once significant data has been gathered.

What are the most promising drugs, antibodies, and vaccines in development against COVID-19? Our team sifted through thousands of articles and research publications to identify the most promising ones. In most cases, these drugs, vaccines and antibodies are already in use for other diseases, making it easier to leverage them in the fight against the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

What is the Cymerus™ technology and how could it potentially assist in the war against COVID-19 cases on a global basis? Cymerus™ is a stem cell manufacturing platform being developed by Cynata Therapeutics Limited (ASX: CYP), an Australian regenerative medicine company. It is a scalable manufacturing solution to produce iPSC-derived MSCs—a cell type which a produced a favorable responses in seven COVID-19 patients in a recent trial in China.

March 16, 2020, HOUSTON– Celltex Therapeutics Corporation, a Houston, Texas-based biotechnology company founded in 2011 and focused on spearheading breakthroughs in regenerative medicine using adult, autologous Mesenchymal Stem Cells (“MSCs”), announced that it has begun discussions with the FDA regarding a study using MSCs against Coronavirus (COVID-19) type symptoms.

GOLDEN, CO; February 27, 2020 — Vitro Diagnostics, Inc. (OTCPK:VODG), dba Vitro Biopharma, reports on a potential therapy of Coronavirus (COVID-19) infections by stem cell transplant. While this therapy is not a method to eradicate or cure Coronavirus, there is evidence to support the concept that infected patients may be more likely to combat and survive infection.

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As the first and only market research firm to specialize in the stem cell industry, BioInformant research has been cited by the Wall Street Journal, Xconomy, AABB, and Vogue Magazine. Serving Fortune 500 leaders that include GE Healthcare, Pfizer, and Goldman Sachs, BioInformant is your global leader in stem cell industry data.

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