A cytokine storm is an acute and deadly reaction of the immune system to a pathogen, in which T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells are dramatically activated with the release of inflammatory cytokines by defense cells. This condition precedes acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure, which are the most common causes of death in patients with severe COVID-19. That is why prevention of the cytokine curtain is critical in the treatment of such patients.
Leutragin belongs to the class of anti-cytokine drugs, but unlike analogs, it safely inhibits the release of many cytokines and other inflammatory mediators, acting on several major signaling pathways in the immune system at once, FMBA reported. In addition, this drug has fewer side effects.
“The Institute was able to quickly develop a non-infectious model of acute respiratory distress syndrome in mice. A number of candidate molecules were screened for its prevention and relief, and the most effective and safe means were selected, ”said Vladislav Karkishchenko, director of the FMBA’s Biomedical Technologies Research Center.
In April, scientists began clinical trials of Leytragin, in which 320 patients with moderate to severe course of COVID-19 participated, some of whom received the drug, the control group received standard treatment. In the group of patients receiving Leutragin, no deaths were recorded, in addition, there were no cases of the transition of the disease to a more severe form. The patient’s recovery time was reduced to 8 days compared to 14 days in the control group.
As noted in the FMBA, industrial production of the drug will begin in the near future, the timing of its admission to medical institutions has not yet been specified.