Newswise — (New York, NY – April 9, 2020) Mount Sinai Health System is the first in the country to use an innovative allogeneic stem cell therapy in COVID-19 patients and will play a central role in developing and conducting a rigorous clinical trial for patients with severe acute respiratory distress syndrome, the breathing illness that afflicts people who have severe cases of COVID-19.
The therapy, known as remestemcel-L, has previously been tested in bone marrow transplant patients, who can experience an overactive immune response similar to that seen in severe cases of COVID-19.
Mount Sinai began administering the therapy, known as remestemcel-L, to patients in late March under the Food and Drug Administration’s compassionate use program, which allows patients with an immediately life-threatening condition to gain access to an investigational therapy. Ten patients with moderate to severe cases of COVID-19-related acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), most of whom were on ventilators, were given the therapy and doctors saw encouraging results.
“We are encouraged by what we have seen so far and look forward to participating in the randomized controlled trial starting soon that would better indicate whether this is an effective therapy for patients in severe respiratory distress from COVID-19,” said Keren Osman, MD, Medical Director of the Cellular Therapy Service in the Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplantation Program at The Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai and Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology and Medical Oncology) at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Osman oversaw the