Recently, the acute respiratory distresssyndrome (ARDS) has attracted much attention, especially due to pneumoniacaused by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 / SARS-CoV-2) that has spreadthroughout the world. Currently, there are more than 1,460,000 affected patientsin the world, and the death toll surpasses 80,000. COVID-19 not only mutatesrapidly, but also invades aggressively and can persist in the body for morethan 53 days. It can cause pneumonia and systemic viral infections in affected patients.Most of the severe cases have severe lung injury which can lead to ARDS. ForCOVID-19 patients that develop ARDS, the mortality rate can be as high as 52.4%.ARDS is one of the leading causes for COVID-19-related mortality. As thepandemic continues amidst the lack of available treatment and vaccine, and thelengthy time required to develop such, the number of critically ill patientswill no doubt rise rapidly. COVID-19 has proven to be a global health threatwithin a short time period. The fight is real and time is crucial. At acritical moment like this, mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) treatment has become anew option to fight diseases.
A newly published article in an internationally acclaimed journal in the fieldof critical car, “Critical Care Medicine”, reported on a 4-year human clinical trial by a Taiwanese medicalteam that uses umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (UCMSC) to treat ARDS. Theclinical trial showed that the allogeneic transplantation of UCMSC has good allograftcompatibility and is safe, and can be considered as a potential valuabletreatment option for ARDS caused by viruses or other factors in the future.During this critical fight against a virus, the study results are quiteexciting!
There have been at least ten clinicaltrials internationally, such as in France, Brazil (NESTCELL®) and Jordan, onthe use of MSC to treat ARDS caused by COVID-19 or various lung injuries.Furthermore, an Australian regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast, has alsoapplied for the use MSC to treat COVID-19 related ARDS in Australia, Europe, theUnited States and China.
BIONETCorp. is a Taiwan-based international company established 20 years ago involvedwith cell therapy and regenerative medicine. In 2005, BIONET Corp. has establishedthe Mesenchymal Stem Cell Bank and has since then dedicated research efforts tostudy immunomodulation and respiratory diseases. For the past 15 years, BIONETCorp. has participated in multiple studies, including graft-versus-host disease(GvHD) in 2008, and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in premature infants in 2010. Fiveyears ago, a human clinical trial was initiated to study utilizing MSC to treatsevere lung injury and sepsis caused by influenza, pneumonia, and ARDS. It wasconfirmed that MSC can reduce lung injury and inflammation, and improve infiltration caused by pulmonary fibrosis. Thestudy and its findings were recently published in the international criticalcare journal "Critical Care Medicine", and has attracted greatattention from overseas medical units, such as from Malaysia, Japan, Vietnam,Panama and other countries, seeking collaboration opportunities with BIONETCorp. to provide MSC to assist in the treatment of lung injury. The recentCOVID-19 pandemic is a major global health threat. BIONET Corp. expressed that withtheir Mesenchymal Stem Cell Bank having sufficient storage units to treat 1.3million patients. BIONET Corp. expressed they will work with local governmentand local teams to meet the medical needs of Taiwan. While at the same time,serve global citizens as international medical demands arise. Just like the exportsof face masks, MSC and other cell therapy can be exported to serveinternational patients. A timely global medical rescue for COVID-19 patients isforeseeable.
TheTaiwan medical communities have an extensive experience in treating lung injurieswith stem cells. The Taiwan government also has rigorous and well-establishedregulations overseeing the use of cell therapy. BIONET Corp. has devoted 15years into MSC-related research. BIONET’s Mesenchymal Stem Cell Bank is also oneof the largest in the world. With both experience under its belt, BIONET Corp.has valuable resources to support the global fight. Combining the knowledge andresources of medical communities, government and industry, it will surely be agreat power for the global fight against new viruses and influenza in thefuture. Just as soldiers are committed to defending their homeland, we in thelife sciences are eagerly looking forward to contributing our efforts to theglobal community.
CritCare Med. 2020 Mar 13. doi: 10.1097/CCM.0000000000004285.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32187077