The Bonus BioGroup company announced the development of a drug against lung damage in COVID-19, according to the website "Vesti. Israel in Russian".
“MesenCure is a suspension of human cells grown in a laboratory, which is injected intravenously. The cells enter the lungs and, thanks to their modified and enhanced properties, suppress local inflammation and allow patients to recover”, - says Dr. Dror Ben-David, Chief of Development at the company.
After successful laboratory tests on animals, doctors tested their drug on patients at the Rambam Hospital in Haifa. “The drug was administered to seriously ill patients on the eve of the introduction into an artificial coma and connection to ventilators. Typically, these patients have very low oxygen saturation, high levels of markers of inflammation, and they need respiratory support. Conventional treatments are no longer helping them”, - says Ben-David.
The experiment involved ten patients. The drug was administered in three doses, a day after the completion of drug treatment, nine patients recovered and were discharged. One patient died.
Francis Claudi, 62, was one of those injected with the experimental drug. “The X-ray showed”, - he recalls, - “that 20% of the lungs were affected by pneumonia. They began to give me oxygen, and my condition was constantly deteriorating. When I was offered the experimental drug, I hesitated. But 4 days after its administration, I felt an improvement. 10 days I was discharged - it's just a miracle. After discharge, I made a donation to the hospital where they saved my life". According to Francis Claudi, 2 people who were treated in the hospital at the same time and refused to participate in the experiment died.
“We have participated in many studies aimed at finding remedies for the coronavirus. We tested both new drugs and existing drugs. But the results of using MesenCure are unprecedented. The drug attacks the virus and reduces the severity of inflammation. The results are excellent: in a matter of days after the start of admission, critically ill patients who were on the verge of being connected to mechanical ventilation recovered. They said that a miracle happened to them, and the doctors in charge had the same feeling”, - says Dr. Shadi Hamoud, head of the therapeutic department and research department at Rambam.
Bonus BioGroup, based in Haifa, specializes in tissue engineering and cell therapy. Before the pandemic, its staff developed living tissue bone prostheses to treat bone defects, complex fractures and osteoporosis.
Novye Izvestia will follow this topic and intend to take comments from experts. The first attempts to contact well-known Russian scientists and doctors have not yet led to anything - they do not know anything about the work of their Israeli colleagues.