May 31, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

COVID-19 updates

2019-nCoV COVID-19 coronavirus
2019-nCoV COVID-19 coronavirus
2019-nCoV virus pathogenicity was tested in cell culture, with damage to the cells on the right upper corner being visible. Such assays may help devise treatments for COVID-19. Credit: Pasteur Institut Pasteur/CNR for Respiratory Viruses at the Institut Pasteur.

The novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, have swept the world with few proven treatment options. There is also no vaccine and none is likely to be available for 1-2 years realistically. While COVID-19 is generally a mild disease in kids (many of whom don’t even show symptoms), young adults, and even some middle-aged people, in older folks and those with underlying conditions it can be disastrous and even fatal.

For all these reasons, there is interest in pursuing novel treatment options including via small trials during the outbreak and stem cells have garnered quite a bit of attention here.

On this page I will be regularly updating you on developments related to stem cells and the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

As of this update in early March, I am still somewhat skeptical about the utility of stem cells for COVID-19 but we’ll see how things look as more data accumulate.

Here are my past posts on this topic.

April 13. Cell therapy trials for COVID-19 accelerate & some early reports

April 9. Who IS this!? Surprising phone survey of stem cell clinics on their COVID-19 pandemic status.

April 5. Interview with Sean Morrison on cellular therapies for COVID-19

March 31. Deconstructing Rudy Giuliani ‘stem cells for COVID-19’ podcast & NK cell transplant idea 

March 27. Rudy Giuliani now plugging unproven stem cells for COVID19: is Trump next?

March 26. As clinics buzz about coronavirus, COVID19 patient given non-FDA-approved exosomes?

March 18. Patient Q&A#2: Are autoimmune or stem cell transplant patients at higher risk from COVID-19?

March 10 Promise from Athersys & Mesoblast stem cell drugs for novel coronavirus & COVID-19?

March 3We Cannot Stick to the Rules’: claims of stem cells saving COVID-19 patients

February 19 COVID-19 stem cell trials pile up during novel coronavirus outbreak

What do you think of the promise of stem cells for the novel coronavirus? Can cells such as MSCs battle the cytokine storm associated with COVID-19? Have other positive effects? What about risks?