The SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, first heard in December 2019, has to date changed the lives of most people on the planet. More than 240,000 people have died worldwide from COVID-19, and nearly 300 in Ukraine. The pandemic has also caused significant economic damage, so the creation of a vaccine against coronavirus and the development of effective therapies are now the most urgent tasks of medicine.
One of the promising treatments for coronavirus pneumonia is the use of mesenchymal stem cells. They are isolated from the placenta, umbilical cord, umbilical cord blood, bone marrow, adipose tissue. Due to the prominent anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and restorative effect of mesenchymal stem cells, the latter have been successfully used in the treatment of COVID-19 in clinical trials in China, USA, Israel, France and other countries.
On 30 April 2020, the European Investment Bank and the Israeli Innovation Office signed a Memorandum and a financial agreement was signed between the European Investment Bank and Pluristem to develop innovative cell based technologies. The European Investment Bank is providing € 50 million to Pluristem to support its research and, first and foremost, COVID-19 cell therapy methods.
In Ukraine, the Institute of Cell Therapy has developed a protocol for the treatment of COVID-19 using multipotent mesenchymal placental stem cells and proposed it to the Ministry of Health of Ukraine in the framework of clinical trials. Already today, 300 doses of donor mesenchymal stem cells, ready for use in patients with coronavirus pneumonia, are stored in the Ukraine’s first and only ISO-accredited Cryobank of the Institute of Cell Therapy.