Dozens of companies are exploring new treatments for COVID-19.

We know companies around the world are researching, developing, and testing vaccines for COVID-19. We also know that there are several anti-viral medicines that might be effective to treat this virus. Testing is being done on both vaccines and antiviral medicines. What else is there?

Last month a clinical trial was started with ibuprofen. That non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug is cheap and available. It is being tested to treat complications arising from COVID-19.

Our immune system attacks foreign invaders – viruses, bacteria, fungi, and more. Monoclonal antibodies are designed to specific targets – SARS-Co-V-2, or as we know it more formally as coronavirus or COVID-19.

This antibody-drug works to block the virus from entering the body. Sorrento Therapeutics, AbCellera, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, and others are testing the effectiveness of monoclonal antibodies against COVID-19.

On a similar vein as monoclonal antibodies, convalescent plasma uses antibodies to target COVID-19. Blood plasma from recovered patients is being used to develop convalescent plasma.

The Houston Methodist Hospital in Texas has had significant success in treating COVID-19 patients in the past two months with convalescent plasma transfusions. The New York Blood Center, Mayo Clinic, and Michigan State University are conducting tests and trials using convalescent plasma.

Our immune systems are supposed to protect us. However, new viruses have no history in our bodies, and we have no protection initially from new invaders such as COVID-19. Medical researchers are seeing anomalies in people with good and weak immune systems.

An elder couple was admitted to a hospital with COVID-19 symptoms six weeks or so ago. The wife was in chemotherapy for cancer treatment and her immune system was very challenged. Her husband did not have any medical issues. She left the hospital three days before her husband.

Scientists theorize that somehow the immune system sees itself as the viral host and begins to attack itself – an autoimmune response. They do not know how COVID-19 causes our immune system to create cytokine storms that start this autoimmune response.

Immune modulators or suppressants might be a treatment for patients with very severe reactions to COVID-19. When acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) occurs, many patients are put on ventilators. Initially, the death rate was very high for any patient on a ventilator. That death rate has come down as we know better how to treat patients with COVID-19-induced ARDS.

Researchers in Great Britain are using an inexpensive corticosteroid, dexamethasone, to treat patients with severe COVID-19. The death rate downward trend is impressive compared to non-treatment of the immune suppressant. Peer-reviewed results should be published shortly.

Baricitinib (for rheumatoid arthritis), CM4620-IE (for pancreatic cancer) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors are also being evaluated to treat patients with severe COVID-19 symptoms.

Stem cells are created in our bodies for the various needs of our bodies. A generic stem cell can become almost any cell in our body. Athersys, Inc. is nearly half-way through a clinical trial testing a stem cell treatment specifically for ARDS. Another company, Mesoblast is working a similar approach.

Live Longer & Enjoy Life! – Red O’Laughlin –


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