The Ministry of Health conducted a phase one clinical trial of mesenchymal stem cell therapy for Covid-19 patients. The clinical trials are limited to patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).
Based on a press release from the Ministry of Health received in Jakarta on Wednesday, the stem cell clinical trial is a collaboration between the Health Research and Development Agency of the Ministry of Health and the Daewoong Infion Korea Biopharmaceutical Company.
The cooperation agreement is also an implementation of the Cooperation Agreement on Health in Indonesia and South Korea signed in Bogor on November 9, 2017.
The clinical trials of mesenchymal stem cell therapy have been discussed in the 2nd RI-Korea Joint Working Group (JWG) on 6 August 2020. The study is done to accelerate the discovery of effective therapies in Covid-19 disease.
The stem cell therapy has been dubbed as ‘modern medicine’ and is expected to be able to solve the problem of acute respiratory symptoms (acute respiratory distress syndrome or ARDS) in Covid-19 patients.
The stem cell itself does not work directly to kill viruses but has a function as an immunomodulator. It was expected to suppress the production of reactive substances that cause hyper inflammation and injure the lung tissue.
In addition, Mesenchymal Stem Cells have an antifibrotic effect that can replace fibrotic or injured lung tissue due to hyperinflammation.
According to research in other countries published in the form of systematic reviews and meta-analyzes, Mesenchymal Stem Cells have been shown to be safe with minimal side effects in the pre-clinical trial phase. Most importantly, it is useful to reduce mortality and improve lung function in patients with ARDS.
The Ministry of Health welcomes the proposed collaboration with PT Daewoong Infion regarding clinical trials for Covid-19 drug candidates where Daewoong has completed phase one clinical trials in Korea and India.