Background aims: The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) resulting from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a massive release of inflammatory cytokines and high mortality. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have anti-inflammatory properties and have shown activity in treating acute lung injury. Here the authors report a case series of 11 patients with COVID-19-associated ARDS (CARDS) requiring mechanical ventilation who were treated with remestemcel-L, an allogeneic MSC product, under individual patient emergency investigational new drug applications. Methods: Patients were eligible if they were mechanically ventilated for less than 72 h prior to the first infusion. Patients with pre-existing lung disease requiring supplemental oxygen or severe liver or kidney injury were excluded. Each patient received two infusions of remestemcel-L at a dose of 2 million cells/kg per infusion given 48–120 h apart. Results: Remestemcel-L infusions were well tolerated in all 11 patients. At the end of the 28-day follow-up period, 10 (91%, 95% confidence interval [CI], 59–100%) patients were extubated, nine (82%, 95% CI, 48–97%) patients remained liberated from mechanical ventilation and were discharged from the intensive care unit and two (18%, 95 CI%, 2–52%) patients died. The median time to extubation was 10 days. Eight (73%, 95% CI, 34–100%) patients were discharged from the hospital. C-reactive protein levels significantly declined within 5 days of MSC infusion. Conclusions: The authors demonstrate in this case series that remestemcel-L infusions to treat moderate to severe CARDS were safe and well tolerated and resulted in improved clinical outcomes.
- acute respiratory distress syndrome
- mesenchymal stromal cells