Celltex Therapeutics Corporation is also hoping the stem cells will help treat some of the more severe cases.
Celltex is known to be a pioneer in something called mesenchymal stem cell technology, or MSC's. This is the process where they use a patient's own stem cells. First, they withdraw them from fat, then regrow or expand them into hundreds of millions of cells. They store them and can later reinject them into the patient.
"We didn't just come up on this all of a sudden. We've been doing something like this for (up to) nine years, in other areas, such as pneumonia and lung disease," explains David Eller, CEO of Celltex.
Celltex has multiple studies going on with the stem cells, but entering its Phase 2 study in the U.S. At this point, they're only closely monitoring patients, who had already banked their stem cells before the pandemic.
"We incidentally have over 1,600 folks in that system, who have taken over 9,000 therapies, and no one has ever had an adverse effect," explains Eller. Therapies for many autoimmune problems like arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's, and even Alzheimer's disease.
"None of these people have had any kind of adverse events, and have not had COVID-19. Now, we think it's because mesenchymal stem cells are known to be able to build the immune system. That's the reason that preventative is good, so in filing this particular COVID-19 for a preventative, we think we'll have good results with it," states Eller.
Former U.S. Secretary of Energy and Texas Governor Rick Perry has served on the Board of Directors for Celltex in the past. He's hopeful this treatment in Houston could potentially help protect people around the globe from COVID-19.
"There's literally billions of dollars that have been earmarked and are pointing towards finding a vaccine. Well, let's face it, I wish they'd come up with a vaccine tomorrow. But when is this thing going to mutate, when's the next virus going to come along," questions Mr. Perry.
He is closely monitoring options around the country and believes while we fight this coronavirus, we also need to be thinking ahead to the next pandemic.
"Here we are today, potentially with the answer, not just to COVID-19, but to the other maladies, the other viruses, the coronaviruses, the SARS that are going to attack people in the future. We may be able to have the answer to it right here, with our own autologous mesenchymal stem cells. What a wonderful thing it would be if the world had access to that type of technology," states Mr. Perry.
Celltex believes they should have the answers to this Phase-2 trial by the end of the year.
For more information visit https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04428801 or www.celltexbank.com