As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, pharmaceutical companies are working on finding treatments to lessen the symptoms of the disease. Several drugs are being investigated for their ability to reduce acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), a cause of death in COVID-19 patients. Finding a treatment for this syndrome will play an important role in decreasing the mortality of COVID-19, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.
Johanna Swanson, Product Manager at GlobalData, comments: “About one in six COVID-19 patients have difficulty breathing.Of those patients who are placed on a ventilator, there is about a 20-50% survival rate. The estimated mortality rate is 80% for moderate to severe COVID-19-related ARDS.
Swanson continued: “COVID-19 ARDS patients are placing a burden on hospitals and ventilator usage in intensive care units. Finding treatments that will lessen these demands will improve patient outcomes and free up resources to help other patients. Using already available drugs will shorten the time to these treatments being approved.”
Several drugs are being investigated for their ability to treat ARDS that is triggered by COVID-19. Relief Therapeutic has initiated a clinical trial of its aviptadil at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia for the treatment of ARDS in COVID-19 patients. This drug has a naturally synthesized peptide that is 40% concentrated in the lungs. It has been shown to have potent anti-cytokine activity, and has been safely used for 20 years to treat other diseases in humans.
Mesoblast Limited’s drug remestemcel-L is another candidate to treat ARDS in COVID-19 patients. It has been developed for other inflammatory conditions and down-regulates the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines while it up-regulates anti-inflammatory cytokines and cells. The US National Institutes of Health’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute will conduct a randomized controlled trial of remestemcel-L in 240 patients with ARDS caused by COVID-19.