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Infect Dis Ther ; 11(1): 595-605, 2022 Feb.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1514083


INTRODUCTION: Inhaled therapeutics may act to directly target and attenuate lung inflammation due to COVID-19. An inhalation form of a novel biologic drug, AMP5A, is being developed as an immunomodulatory agent to treat dysregulated immune responses and is being studied in hospitalized patients to treat respiratory complications due to COVID-19. METHODS: A randomized, controlled, phase I trial was conducted to evaluate hospitalized adults with respiratory distress secondary to COVID-19. Patients received the standard care (SOC) for COVID-19, including respiratory therapy, corticosteroids, and antiviral therapies such as remdesivir. Patients were randomized 1:1 to inhalation treatment with AMP5A as an adjunct to SOC or to SOC alone (control). AMP5A was administered via inhalation daily for 5 days via hand-held nebulizer, non-invasive ventilator, or mechanical ventilation. Safety and clinical efficacy endpoints were evaluated. RESULTS: Forty subjects were enrolled and randomized (n = 19 AMP5A, n = 21 control). Remdesivir was used in fewer AMP5A subjects (26%) than control (52%), and dexamethasone was administered for most subjects (84% AMP5A, 71% control). The study met its primary endpoint with no AMP5A treatment-related adverse events (AEs), and the incidence and severity of AEs were comparable between groups: 18 AEs for control (8 mild, 1 moderate, 9 severe) and 19 AEs for AMP5A (7 mild, 7 moderate, 5 severe). Notably, subjects treated with AMP5A had fewer deaths (5% vs. 24%), shorter hospital stay (8 days vs. 12 days), fewer ICU admissions (21% vs. 33%), and a greater proportion with improved clinical outcomes than control. CONCLUSION: The phase I clinical results indicate inhaled AMP5A is safe, is well tolerated, and could lead to fewer patients experiencing deterioration or death. Based on the treatment effect (i.e., reduced mortality), a phase II trial has been initiated. TRIAL REGISTRATION: identifier: NCT04606784.

Patient Saf Surg ; 14: 21, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-245767


BACKGROUND: A common complication of viral pulmonary infections, such as in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is a phenomenon described as a "cytokine storm". While poorly defined, this hyperinflammatory response results in diffuse alveolar damage. The low molecular weight fraction of commercial human serum albumin (LMWF5A), a novel biologic in development for osteoarthritis, demonstrates beneficial in vitro immunomodulatory effects complimentary to addressing inflammation, thus, we hypothesize that LMWF5A could improve the clinical outcomes of COVID-19 by attenuating hyperinflammation and the potential development of a cytokine storm. PRESENTATION OF THE HYPOTHESIS: A variety of human in vitro immune models indicate that LMWF5A reduces the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines implicated in cytokine storm associated with COVID-19. Furthermore, evidence suggests LMWF5A also promotes the production of mediators required for resolving inflammation and enhances the barrier function of endothelial cultures. TESTING THE HYPOTHESIS: A randomized controlled trial, to evaluate the safety and efficacy of nebulized LMWF5A in adults with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) secondary to COVID-19 infection, was developed and is currently under review by the Food and Drug Administration. IMPLICATIONS OF HYPOTHESIS: If successful, this therapy may attenuate the cytokine storm observed in these patients and potentially reduce mortality, increase ventilation free days, improve oxygenation parameters and consequently lessen the burden on patients and the intensive care unit. CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, in vitro findings suggest that the immunomodulatory effects of LMWF5A make it a viable candidate for treating cytokine storm and restoring homeostasis to the immune response in COVID-19.