Treatment of COVID-19: Cuban Drug Itolizumab Proves Effective in Critically Ill Patients

The Ministry of Public Health has announced that the medication, developed by the Center for Molecular Immunology, has shown positive results as an anti-inflammatory treatment in patients with COVID-19

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The Ministry of Public Health announced that the Cuban drug Itolizumab – developed by the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) – has shown positive results as an anti-inflammatory treatment in patients with COVID-19.

According to a study published on the Infomed website, patients infected with the SARS-COV2 virus can develop a very severe case of the illness, distinguished by the appearance of what is called “cytokine storm syndrome.”

Itolizumab, as a molecule capable of blocking the proliferation and activation of T-lymphocytes, and also behaves as an immunomodulator, has been shown to reduce the release of cytokines that produce inflammation.

In January, Cuban researchers at the CIM, the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic and Preclinical Sciences, and the Manuel Piti Fajardo and Arnaldo Milián Castro Hospitals in the city of Santa Clara, presented findings from a study of the effectiveness of the medication in treatment of three patients with COVID-19 in serious or critical condition, in the international medical journal Immunotherapy.

The scientists reported that the administration of Itolizumab succeeded in reducing the concentrations of the cytokine IL-6 in all three cases, and two of the patients exhibited respiratory and radiological improvement allowing them to recover completely.

They concluded that this anti-inflammatory therapy, in addition to antiviral and anticoagulant medication, could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with severe cases of COVID-19.


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