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Cuban drug Itolizumab confirms effectiveness in seriously ill patients

It is presumed that this anti-inflammatory therapy, in addition to antiviral and anticoagulant therapy, could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with severe clinical forms of the virus
Author: Yaditza del Sol González | internet@granma.cu
January 26, 2021
The Ministry of Public Health announced that the Cuban drug Itolizumab – developed by the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM) – has shown good results as an anti-inflammatory therapy treatment in patients with COVID-19.
According to a study published on the Infomed website, people positive for the virus can develop a very serious form, distinguished by the so-called “cytokine storm syndrome.”
Itolizumab, being a molecule capable of blocking the proliferation and activation of T-lymphocytes, and which also behaves as an immunomodulator, has an effect associated with the reduction of the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Cuban researchers from the CIM, the Victoria de Girón Institute of Basic and Preclinical Sciences, and the hospitals of the city of Santa Clara, Manuel Piti Fajardo and Arnaldo Milián Castro, presented, earlier this year, in the international journal Immunotherapy, the results of the treatment carried out on three COVID-19 patients who were in serious and critical condition.
The use of this drug managed to reduce the concentrations of the cytokine IL-6 in all the patients, even two of the three cases showed respiratory and radiological improvement, and they recovered completely, the scientists highlighted.
It is presumed that this anti-inflammatory therapy, in addition to antiviral and anticoagulant therapy, could reduce the morbidity and mortality associated with severe clinical forms of the virus, they concluded.

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