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Cytokine storm has made frequent appearances in the news lately as a life-threatening complication in patients suffering from COVID-19. The condition is an inflammatory syndrome triggered by hyperactivation of immune cells that can significantly impact the patient’s chances of making a full recovery or surviving the infection at all.
Fortunately, Avalon GloboCare Corp. AVCO, a clinical-stage biotech company focused on innovative immunotherapies for cancer patients, has already been developing a range of therapies that have the potential to help target cytokine storm and other risk factors that make the widespread virus so difficult to get under control.
What Is Cytokine Storm?
The immune system uses cytokines to perform a variety of important tasks from clotting blood to triggering antibody production. When overworked — as can happen when the body is fighting off an aggressive, difficult disease like COVID-19 or is being treated with therapies designed to activate an immune response — that same immune system can end up producing too many cytokines.
When the ones that trigger an inflammatory response are produced in excess, the cytokines trigger severe inflammatory symptoms, damage healthy tissue, and can even cause multiple organs to fail, leading to death.
Avalon GloboCare’s AVA-Trap™ Already Targets Cytokine Storm
Because cytokine storm is a common risk factor in many cancer therapies, the oncology-focused Avalon was already hard at work on a way to calm down cytokine storms. The company’s AVA-Trap™ therapeutic program was developed to target this potentially fatal complication. By using cytokine receptor proteins, the AVA-Trap™ program could dampen the release of cytokine, essentially filtering out the excess cytokines.
When COVID-19 started to spread through populations around the globe in 2020, doctors soon realized that the virus could induce a cytokine storm and that, when it did, the chances of that patient surviving grew slim. Avalon moved quickly to file an expanded patent for the proprietary filtration technology so it could be used to help COVID patients increase their chances of recovering from the disease.
Avalon GloboCare Launches Full-Scale Plan to Tackle COVID-19 Pandemic
In addition to leveraging its existing AVA-Trap™ program to help combat cytokine storm and improve patient outcomes, Avalon also began working on a slate of other tools doctors can use to keep the evolving virus at bay.
In partnership with Adial Pharmaceuticals Inc. ADIL, Avalon is distributing a rapid diagnostics test that can detect multiple COVID antibodies with between 92.9% and 98.6% accuracy in just 10 minutes. Using Avalon’s existing global distribution network, the 2 companies are able to make this rapid and highly accurate test available to healthcare providers worldwide.
In another partnership with Austria’s University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Avalon is working on an intranasal spray vaccine for COVID-19. Based on innovative S-layer technology that creates uniform, repetitive protein structures, the vaccine could become a highly effective formula in a format that people could self-administer — reducing the burden on healthcare providers to individually vaccinate the world’s population and reducing barriers to access for people with mobility challenges or who live too far from the nearest vaccine administration site.
Finally, Avalon began preclinical testing for its allogeneic MSC-based cellular therapy (ACETEX™), which could treat the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multisystem inflammatory syndrome that can also come with severe cases of COVID-19 infection and, like cytokine storm, significantly increase the risk of mortality. ARDS alone has been the cause of death in 70% of fatal COVID-19 cases where an aggressive inflammatory response happens.
ACETEX™ uses mesenchymal stromal cells taken from bone marrow, fat tissue, or other tissue types and adapts them to help moderate the body’s immune system response. Because cytokine storm, ARDS, and multisystem inflammatory syndrome in COVID-19 patients are all triggered by a hyperactive immune response, the potential ACETEX™ has for better regulating the immune response could offer a reliable treatment option to stop these complications in their tracks and prevent them from progressing to a fatal stage.
The preceding post was written and/or published as a collaboration between Benzinga’s in-house sponsored content team and a financial partner of Benzinga. Although the piece is not and should not be construed as editorial content, the sponsored content team works to ensure that any and all information contained within is true and accurate to the best of their knowledge and research. This content is for informational purposes only and not intended to be investing advice.
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