This study shows a new drug to treat severe COVID-19 infection

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The inflammatory process identified in severe cases of coronavirus causes an uncontrolled and excessive release of cytokines—molecules in charge of organizing the body’s defenses—which could even trigger vascular hyperpermeability and multiorgan failure.

Controlling such cytokine “storm,” through those controlling them, that is, the infected cells is precisely what these researchers propose.

In a recent study at the University of Malaga (UMA) and elsewhere, researchers found a new drug that could prevent the consequences of COVID-19 infection.

According to the team, repurposing the 4-PBA anti-stress drug, approved for clinical use against other diseases and, hence, easy to apply clinically, could modulate such cellular stress, which is also present in pathologies like diabetes, aging or carcinogenesis, which, in turn, are classified as risk factors for COVID-19.

The findings make big progress to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

The study is published in the Cytokine and Growth Factors Review. One author of the study is Fabiana Csukasi.

The results from animal models showed that 4-PBA fully curbs mortality caused by respiratory failure derived from cellular stress.

This way could serve as early indicators of COVID-19 risk groups, establishing a link between high levels and the inflammatory severity after the viral infection.

The team says there are people already suffering from diseases that cause cellular stress, and when they become infected with coronavirus, they are more likely to fall ill or die.

Therefore, if doctors know that the patient suffers from cellular stress, they can kill two birds with one stone: they can detect susceptibility before infection occurs and know how to treat it in due time.

In the coming year, the team will study how 4-Phenylbutiric acid (4-PBA) treatment modulates the inflammatory response produced in severe cases of COVID-19.

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