Drug Discov Ther. 2020;14(3):139-142. (DOI: 10.5582/ddt.2020.03032)
Can mesenchymal stem cell therapy be the interim management of COVID-19?
Bamba C, Singh SP, Choudhury S
COVID-19 pandemic has accounted for ~ 4.3 million confirmed cases and ~ 292,000 deaths (till 12th May, 2020) across the globe since its outbreak. Several anti-viral drugs such as RNA dependent RNA polymerase inhibitors (remdesivir, favipiravir, ribavirin), protease inhibitors (lopinavir, ritonavir) and drugs targeting endocytic pathway (hydroxychloroquine) are being evaluated for COVID-19 but standard therapeutics yet not available. Severe health deterioration in critically ill patients is characterized by pulmonary edema, severe respiratory distress, cytokine storm and septic shock. To combat cytokine storm, immune-therapy targeting IL-1, IL-2, IL-6 and TNFα are being evaluated and one of the promising immune-modulator is the mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) that can surmount the severity of COVID-19 infections. Recent studies have shown that MSC-therapy significantly dampens the cytokine storm in critically ill COVID-19 patients. This communication endows with the insight of stem cell therapy and summarizes the recent studies on COVID-19 patients.