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Cystic fibrosis drug for COVID-19

Patients with COVID-19 will be given the cystic fibrosis drug Dornase alfa to determine if it can help improve survival by reducing excess inflammation in the lungs, as part of a trial co-led by UCL and the Francis Crick Institute.

The COVASE trial has been funded by LifeArc, a medical research charity, and will be run in partnership with University College London Hospitals (UCLH) NHS Foundation Trust. Up to 40 patients are expected to be recruited.

During a viral infection, a group of white blood cells called neutrophils release neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), which are extracellular meshes whose primary role is to trap and kill bacteria.

Researchers believe the immune system in COVID-19 patients is over-active and an abundance of NETs could be causing excess inflammation (hyperinflammation) and contributing to the onset of pneumonia and severe damage to the lungs.

Select hospital patients will be given Dornase alfa twice a day for seven days and researchers will examine the drug’s effect on inflammation and survival. Historic controls will be derived from an existing database of 120 subjects.  

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Picture Credit | Alamy

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