The last of five coronavirus patients in severe condition who were hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Yerushalayim 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 which releases a large amount of pro-inflammatory proteins, called cytokines, in an event known as a “cytokine storm.” This immune response to the virus results in an excessive inflammatory reaction. Studies analyzing cytokine profiles from coronavirus patients suggested that the cytokine storm correlated directly with lung injury, multi-organ failure, and the unfavorable prognosis of severe coronavirus.
The new treatment, Allocetra, which is being developed by Israeli company Enlivex, is an immunotherapy that rebalances life-threatening over-activity of the immune system, using the immune system’s own natural regulation mechanisms.
Allocetra is comprised of billions of densely concentrated cells and is infused into the patient’s bloodstream.
Allocetra is designed to prevent cytokine storms and restore a safe immune balance without suppressing the immune system.
All five patients treated with this innovative treatment were discharged healthy from the hospital after treatment of five to six days, and all tested negative 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.