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Investigational Therapy Treats Severe Case of COVID-19

A case study examines a treatment for a hospitalized case of the virus.

A patient in Vienna, Austria was admitted to a local hospital. The 45 year old woman had a 7 day history of cough, weakness, myalgia, fever, and dyspnoea. She also had a 4 day history of nausea and diarrhea.

The next day after admittance, her condition worsened, and the patient was put on a ventilator.

In discussing potential treatment options, the attending physicians, family, and infectious disease experts decided upon a course of treatment for compassionate use.

An investigational therapy, APN01, developed by Austria-based Apeiron was started with intravenous infusion for 5 min twice daily. The investigators reported the patient became afebrile within hours.

APN01 is a recombinant form of the human angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (rhsACE2), and this compound is the crucial severe acute respiratory syndrome SARS-CoV-2 receptor and protects multiple tissues, including the lung from injury as a regulator of the renin—angiotensin system.

The next day the patient’s temperature rose suggesting bacterial pneumonia. She was treated with cefuroxime.

The patient also was diagnosed dealt with methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA).

The patient was released after 57 days in the hospital.

This case study was published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

The study’s lead author Alexander Zoufaly, MD, Department of Infectious Diseases/Clinic Favoriten spoke with Contagion® about the specifics of the case and offered some insights into the investigational therapy.