U of M begins clinical trial involving stem cells in treating COVID-19

U of M begins clinical trial involving stem cells in treating COVID-19 Photo: KSTP/File.

Updated: August 13, 2020 01:49 PM
Created: August 13, 2020 01:18 PM

The University of Minnesota announced it is beginning a clinical trial to determine the safety and effectiveness of using mesenchymal stem cells in treating COVID-19.

According to the U of M, a patient with COVID-19 and lung failure at the university is the first to be treated in the United States with the newly approved clinical trial.

The use of the treatment is expected to stop the inflammatory response in the body that is caused by the immune system. The inflammation, known as the cytokine storm, can cause extensive organ damage, including lung failure. 

"The inflammation seen in patients with severe COVID-19 can be devastating," said Dr. David Ingbar, a critical care and pulmonary physician at the M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center and director of the University of Minnesota Medical School's Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine. "The cytokine storm can rapidly lead to shock, massive fluid buildup in the tissues, and direct severe tissue injury, most often in the lungs."

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