A Novel Device With COVID-19 Treatment Potential

Aethlon Medical’s proprietary Hemopurifier is being studied to treat COVID-19, and they recently reported results.

Medicine is always looking for novel ways to treat diseases and conditions, whether it be through agents, devices or some other unique modality. And this certainly applies to COVID-19. Aethlon Medical has developed its Hemopurifier, which is a therapeutic device designed for the single use depletion of circulating viruses and exosomes from the blood.

The San Diego, Calif.,-based medical technology company has been focusing on developing products to diagnose and treat life and organ threatening diseases. Specifically, when it comes to COVID-19, the company performed an in vitro study with its Hemopurifier, that was published in bioRxiv.

In their study, known concentrations of seven clinically relevant SARS-CoV-2 variants were passed 3 times over columns containing 1 gram of Galanthus nivalis Agglutinin (GNA) affinity resin. The percent decrease in viral titer was compared with a control sample. Viral capture efficiency with the GNA affinity resin ranged from 53% to 89% for all variants tested. Extrapolation of these data would indicate that the binding capacity of the Hemopurifier for viral loads observed in adult patients with severe COVID-19 infection would be more than sufficient.

The Hemopurifier holds a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) breakthrough device designation related to life-threatening viruses that are not addressed with approved therapies. In June 2020, the FDA approved an amendment to Aethlon's existing open IDE for the Hemopurifier in life threatening viral infections, to allow for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 infection. This will allow for up to 40 of these patients to be treated under a new Early Feasibility Study protocol at up to 20 clinical sites in the United States.

Contagion recently spoke to Aethlon CEO Charles Fisher, Jr., MD, and Aethlon CMO Steven LaRosa, MD, who were the study’s lead author and coauthor respectively. They provided an overview of the company, how the device works, and the study’s findings.