The first results from a clinical trial in Greece of the pioneering inhaled drug EXO-CD24 for the treatment of coronavirus are very encouraging.
“The study in Greek patients has begun and is encouraging,” said Israeli professor of medicine Nadir Arber, who has developed the promising drug.
According to the expert, the introduction of the inhaled drug began last week in 100 Greek patients who are being treated for moderate to severe Covid-19 infection in three main hospitals in Attica, more specifically in Sotiria, Attikon and Evangelismos.
We will soon hear the results of a clinical trial in Greek patients
“Last week I was back in Greece to start clinical trials. We are optimistic, hopeful and believe that the results will be as impressive as in Israel, ”said Nadir Arber, head of the Ichilov Medical Center in Tel Aviv.
In fact, it is an inhaled, fast-acting and inexpensive drug that could be mass-produced within a few months after approval and use, including at home.
Laboratory research on the CD24 gene, a protein that suppresses the immune system, began in Israel in 1998 and took a new turn in April 2020 when Nadir Arber, a professor of medicine, decided to switch from oncology research to coronavirus.
The key role of the CD24 protein has been noted in many inflammatory diseases, such as cancer and injury, and this prompted the professor to consider its use against Covid-19.
The drug effectively inhibits the growth of cytokines (a class of small proteins). It acts directly on the lungs and fights the so-called “cytokine storm”, that is, the body’s potentially dangerous immune response to infection.
In critically ill patients, respiratory failure, usually caused by covid, is due to overstimulation of the immune system by a cytokine storm. The goal is to intervene at this point and prevent the patient from getting worse.
The inhaled drug uses a unique material that renews “communication” between cells so that the CD24 protein can reach the lungs. This protein is found on the surface of cells and plays an important role in regulating the immune system, helping to suppress the cytokine storm.
An important “weapon” in the fight against coronavirus
The vast majority of seriously ill patients who received the drug in Israel recovered within a week. The safety and efficacy of the drug have reached 100%. Clinical research is at an advanced stage and, as all the evidence suggests, it is another important “weapon” in the fight against the pandemic.
The leader in our country in the course of clinical research is the professor of infectious diseases Sotiris Tsiodras, whose team, in collaboration with Professor Nadir Arber, drew up the research protocol, which was sent to the competent authorities.
Greek scientists talk about a very important therapeutic turning point for the treatment of coronavirus and characterize EXO-CD24 as a promising drug as there were no side effects in the first phase of clinical trials.
The preliminary data from Israel, they emphasize, are particularly encouraging, while the final results of the study of the Nadir Arber method in Greece are eagerly awaited.