Covid-19 is resurgent, there is no prospect in sight of it disappearing, and companies developing products to treat it are again attracting attention. Today, Israeli biotech company Bonus BioGroup (TASE: BONS) reported further results of a clinical trial of its MesenCure product, produced from stem cells, for the treatment of severe cases of Covid-19.
Like many treatments currently under development for Covid-19,. Bonus BioGroup's product works on the hyper-inflammation mechanism in which, in late stages of the disease, the immune system becomes out of control (cytokine storm) and causes worse damage than the virus itself.
The trial, which was carried out at Rambam Hospital in Haifa, comprised ten patients. It found improvement in several health parameters the first time the treatment was administered, and further improvement as treatment continued.
The trial did not include a control group, but the parameters of each patient after treatment were compared with their highest readings. The results show that the level of inflammatory protein CRP in the patients' blood fell by 29-34%, the level of the enzyme creatinine kinase fell by 20-22%. Similar results were obtained for levels of other substances excessive levels of which in the blood indicate a severe case of Covid-19. In addition, radiographs showed a decrease in the area of diffuse lung inflammation in patients treated with MesenCure.
Did this manifest itself in an improvement in symptoms? The company reports a significant improvement in respiratory function, a measured by the level of oxygen in the blood, one of the most important parameters for measuring the severity of Covid-109.
Dr. Shadi Hamoud, the principal investigator of the clinical trial for the treatment of respiratory distress, who is the head of the research unit and deputy director of the department of internal medicine at the Rambam Health Care Campus, said, " "The results of the treatment with MesenCure, thus far, are very impressive and are significantly better compared to the results achieved with other therapies."
The company is now embarking on a trial of 50 addiotiona patients.
Bonus BioGroup was founded by Dr. Shai Meretzki, who also founded Pluristem Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:PSTI; TASE: PSTI: PSTI). The company deals in stem cell therapies and tissue engineering. In normal times it focuses on bone regeneration, but is currently giving its Covid-19 treatment priority in clinical trials.
Bonus BioGroup has yet to record revenue. Its accumulated losses stand at NIS 198 million. It has a market cap of NIS 1.3 billion.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on July 11, 2021
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