Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are multipotent cells that can differentiate into several cell types. They possess the capacity to modulate the immune response by regulating the activity of other immune cell types. MSCs are capable of decreasing pro-inflammatory reactions and enhancing lung tissue repair . They have previously demonstrated the ability to improve outcomes of bacterial and viral pneumonia in animals and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in humans [2, 3].
A pilot clinical study in Beijing YouAn Hospital, China in 7 patients with COVID-19 pneumonia demonstrated that the intravenous transplantation of MSCs was safe and effective for treatment in patients with COVID-19 pneumonia, especially for patients in critically severe condition .
A Phase 1 open-label clinical trial has been organized by the Beijing 302 Military Hospital of China to investigate the safety and efficiency of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) therapy in 20 pneumonia patients infected with SARS-CoV-2 . Preliminary results are expected to be available in December 2020, and the full study is expected to be completed in December 2021.
- Harrell, C. R., Sadikot, R., Pascual, J., Fellabaum, C., Jankovic, M. G., Jovicic, N., … & Volarevic, V. (2019). Mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy of inflammatory lung diseases: current understanding and future perspectives. Stem cells international, 2019.
- Matthay, M. A., Calfee, C. S., Zhuo, H., Thompson, B. T., Wilson, J. G., Levitt, J. E., … & Donahoe, M. P. (2019). Treatment with allogeneic mesenchymal stromal cells for moderate to severe acute respiratory distress syndrome (START study): a randomized phase 2a safety trial. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 7(2), 154-162.
- Yip, H. K., Fang, W. F., Li, Y. C., Lee, F. Y., Lee, C. H., Pei, S. N., … & Lee, M. S. (2020). Human Umbilical Cord-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. Read Online: Critical Care Medicine| Society of Critical Care Medicine.
- Leng, Z., Zhu, R., Hou, W., Feng, Y., Yang, Y., Han, Q., … & Fan, J. (2020). Transplantation of ACE2-mesenchymal stem cells improves the outcome of patients with COVID-19 pneumonia. Aging and disease, 11(2), 216-228.
- Safety and Efficiency of Mesenchymal Stem Cell in Treating Pneumonia Patients Infected With 2019 Novel Coronavirus