Promising results point to a potential alternative in combating the pandemic
SAN DIEGO, July 21, 2020 — Global Institute of Stem Cell Therapy and Research (GIOSTAR), the worldwide leader in stem cell research, is pleased to announce the outcome of a COVID-19 patient treated using stem cells. Led by Chairman and Co-Founder Dr. Anand Srivastava, GIOSTAR received approval for the treatment under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “expanded access for compassionate use” program. As of July 14, 2020, there have been more than 13 million COVID-19 cases and over 500,000 deaths worldwide.
Contending with a Grim Prognosis
Under the direction of GIOSTAR Medical Director Dr. Prabhat Soni, a 53-year old male patient suffering from COVID-19 pneumonia was admitted to Saint Michael’s Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey, under the care of Dr. Richard Miller, MD, Chairman, Department of Pulmonary Medicine. The patient’s condition worsened over the course of the standard treatments, along with convalescent plasma therapy. He went into septic shock and his renal and hepatic functions continued to decline, requiring dialysis. The patient suffered a stroke, and remained in a coma at Saint Michael’s intensive care unit (ICU).
Improved Outcomes from an Alternative Strategy
Noting the limited effectiveness of these measures, Dr. Soni designed a plan to treat the patient using stem cells. Research physician Dr. Michael J. DeMarco coordinated the plan, with day-to-day care provided to the patient by Dr. Miller and his Critical Care fellows Dr. Rutwik Patel and Dr. Harish Sharma, at Saint Michael’s.
Following treatment with AlloRx Stem Cells® from Vitro Biopharma, a Colorado-based company, the patient began recovery from multiple organ failure and a coma of almost 7 weeks. He had excellent recovery of his pulmonary, liver, and renal functions, ultimately coming off dialysis and ventilator support.
The patient’s recovery of neuro-muscular functions is evident in improved clarity of speech, ease of swallowing food, and many other everyday functions. Additionally, the elevated levels of inflammation markers seen prior to stem cell therapy have come down to within normal range. The patient was finally discharged from ICU, and is undergoing physical therapy with strong hopes of complete recovery.
COVID-19 and Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
COVID-19 infection leads to uncontrolled release of proinflammatory cytokines – known as “cytokine storms” – that potentially leads to fatal damage of many organs of the body. “MSCs have specific characteristics that, when infused in the bloodstream,” explained Dr. Srivastava, “neutralize proinflammatory cytokines (through ‘immunomodulation’), down-regulate the inflammatory gene actions and send messages to regenerate damaged lung and other tissues, which may help in managing COVID-19.”
Next Steps for Treatment of COVID-19
“We got outstanding results after using MSCs on our first patient,” noted Dr. Soni, “with similar results being reported by other institutions.” Dr. Srivastava states that “the use of MSCs may be a great option not only for critically ill COVID-19 patients, but also for those who may have risk of exposure. MSCs may prevent people from aggravations of the infection, thereby potentially saving lives while lowering the load on hospitals and the economy.” Drs. Srivastava and Soni emphasize that a placebo-controlled, double-blind study would be needed to better understand the measurable outcome of stem cell treatment for COVID-19.
GIOSTAR is the pioneer and established leader in the field of stem cell research. Under the leadership of Co-Founders Dr. Anand Srivastava and Mr. Deven Patel, the San Diego-based Institute has a tradition of groundbreaking research in stem cell science spanning over two decades.