THD NewsDesk, Los Angeles: A Research team in the University of California (UCLA) is developing a new drug for the treatment of COVID-19. The acid drug 4-Phenylbutiric (4-PBA) regulates the inflammatory response produced in severe cases of COVID-19 in the animal trails. This could be a significant contribution to the therapeutics for the coronavirus infection.
A study published in journal Cytokine and Growth Factors Review says that the inflammatory process as found in severe cases of COVID-19 causes an uncontrolled and excessive release of cytokines (molecules in charge of organizing the body’s defence).
They added that controlling cytokine is key to treat the severe form of the disease. Co-author Ivan Duran from the University of Malaga in Spain said,
“When cells are stressed by infection, they call the cytokines, and the more stressed they are, the more persistent they become, provoking this uncontrolled inflammation. Hence, one possible treatment for COVID-19 is to reduce cellular stress.”
Duran further added that,
“Our preliminary results conducted on animal models have demonstrated that 4-PBA fully curbs mortality caused by respiratory failure derived from cellular stress.”
According to researchers, their preliminary studies also found the endoplasmic reticulum resident protein “BiP” (Binding Immunoglobulin Protein). This is a stress blood marker which would indicate cellular stress stimulations.
It would also be possible to measure and explore the amount of molecule in affected patients.
Duran said that BiP levels is not only significant in determining the efficacy of 4-PBA treatment but could also be one of the preliminary indicators of COVID-19 risk groups. It would then act as a bridge to establish the impact of high levels of inflammatory severity after the viral infection.
The scientists also added that people already suffering from any chronic or other disease are more vulnerable to the infection of coronavirus and get ill as a result.
The UMA scientist said,
“Therefore, if we know that the patient suffers from cellular stress, we can kill two birds with one stone — we can detect susceptibility before infection occurs and know how to treat it in due time.”
The effectiveness of the drug is yet to subject to the full official procedures, but it is a step by the scientists in a positive direction.