The last of five Coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in severe condition who were hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem in Jerusalem and were treated with an innovative treatment based on human cells donated by healthy people was released from the hospital on Wednesday after fully recovering.
COVID-19 infection is accompanied by an aggressive inflammatory response with the release of a large amount of pro-inflammatory cytokines in an event known as “cytokine storm.” The host immune response to the virus is hyperactive resulting in an excessive inflammatory reaction. Studies analyzing cytokine profiles from COVID-19 patients suggested that the cytokine storm correlated directly with lung injury, multi-organ failure, and unfavorable prognosis of severe COVID-19.
The new treatment, Allocetra, which is being developed by the Israeli Enlivex, is an immunotherapy that rebalances life-threatening hyperactivity of the immune system, using the immune system’s own natural regulation mechanisms.
Allocetra is comprised of billions of densely concentrated early-apoptotic (dying) cells and is infused into the patient’s bloodstream.
By intelligently engaging macrophages and dendritic cells, Allocetra is designed to avert cytokine storms and restores safe immune balance without suppressing the immune system.
All five patients were discharged healthy from the hospital after treatment for an average of five to six days, and all tested negative for the virus on the day of their discharge.
Allocetra was developed on the basis of research by Prof. Dror Mevorach, head of the Internal Medicine and Corona Department at Hadassah, and has already been successfully tried in the past in 10 patients with sepsis, which is considered a serious disease that currently has no cure.