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DRUG FOR SEPSIS TO BE TESTED FOR COVID-19

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?

Many coronavirus patients have died of sepsis — when the body's ...
  • 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.
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