Why in news?
Sepsivac, a drug jointly developed by the Ahmedabad-based Cadilla Pharmaceuticals and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), will be tested in 50 COVID-19 patients. Results from a human trial are expected in the next two months.
What is Sepsivac and can it be used for COVID-19?
- Sepsivac was originally developed for treating sepsis by a class of pathogens called gram negative bacteria, that are known to cause life-threatening infections.
- Given the similarities in the immune-system response in critically ill COVID-19 patients, it is theorised, the therapy could stimulate a benign response.
- A large quantity of cytokines, chemicals signaling the presence of an infection, are produced in the early stages of the body’s response against an infection to stimulate the production of antibodies.
- However, cytokines also cause inflammation of organs and can be counter-productive in protecting the body.
- Keeping them in check is the goal of so-called immuno-modulators, or medicines like Sepsivac.
- The United States and Australia are also going to start testing the efficacy of the BCG, or tuberculosis vaccine, that also employs a different strain of mycobacterium, in health care workers at the frontline of treating COVID-19 patients.
What is Sepsis?
- Sepsis is a potentially life-threatening condition caused by the body’s response to an infection.
- The body normally releases chemicals into the bloodstream to fight an infection.
- Sepsis occurs when the body’s response to these chemicals is out of balance, triggering changes that can damage multiple organ systems.