| 24 May 2024, Friday |

Novel Stem Cell Therapy Approach Proves Effective in Treating COVID-19

Despite many advances in treating the COVID-19 virus, there remains no specific cure for patients with infection, especially in the case of hospitalized patients who end up requiring ventilation support.


Members of UNESCO’s International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD), including Georgina Ellison-Hughes, Professor of Regenerative Muscle Physiology at King’s, have found that Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC) are effective at modulating multiple mechanisms and can restore the immune system homeostasis in COVID-19 patients.


MSCs have unique and powerful immunomodulatory characteristics, making them an excellent candidate cell type for treating COVID-19.


In February 2020, the international team showed that injection of MSCs into seven COVID19-pneumonia patients improved symptoms and recovery time compared to three placebo-treated patients.


The researchers have advanced these findings showing that MSCs effectively modulate multiple mechanisms and can restore the immune system homeostasis in COVID-19 patients.


In their latest study, published by Cell Research, the team completed a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled Phase II clinical trial of infusion of MSCs.


The clinical study results demonstrated significant efficacy of the MSC treatment, whereby MSC infusion rapidly and significantly improved the prognosis of severe and critically ill patients and alleviated symptoms.


In the MSC treatment group, follow-up chest imaging showed a more remarkable improvement in patients with severe or critical diseases compared with the placebo group. Significantly, the treatment was associated with a shorter hospital stay (11 days vs. 15 days).


MSC treatment improved characteristic markers of the disease, with treated patients showing decreased levels of C reactive protein and pro-inflammatory factors and cytokines.


The MSC treatment resulted in a prolonged persistence of COVID-19 antibodies.


MSC infusion also reduced the incidence of thrombosis shown by decreased plasma neutrophil extracellular traps or “NETs.”


Overall, the MSC treatment group patients had good tolerance and were discharged from the hospital without any adverse reactions.


The death rate was zero in the MSC group and 6.9 percent in the placebo group.


In line with previous clinical studies, the findings indicate MSCs as a safe therapeutic approach for humans and effective in treating COVID-19.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat