South Florida Doctors Starting Trial of Stem Cell Treatment for Most Severe COVID-19 Cases

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Dr. Camillo Ricordi, from the UM Miller School of Medicine and the Jackson Health System are starting a new clinical trial following FDA approval. They will test stem cell therapy on patients with COVID-19.

“One single umbilical cord from one single newborn can save or be used to treat over 10,000 patients,” Dr. Ricordi said.

Dr. Ricordi said that mesenchymal stem cells have been used for improving kidney function and treating diabetes.

Reports show that researchers and clinicians in China and Israel have given stem cells to patients through an IV. They found significant improvements in the lungs of a person fighting Covid-19.

“If you see the image of the lung, the white gray area is the affected area of the lung. Within days, from February 2nd to February 9th, we had almost complete resolution,” Dr. Ricordi said.

Mesenchymal stem cells activate growth factors and include anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties.

The trial will study 12 COVID-19 patients with stem cell therapy. They will include 12 other patients as a control group receiving traditional treatments. The results from this study might happen much earlier than typical clinical trials.

“You mentioned you want to be careful with the hype. When people see this, can you explain if this is a treatment or a cure?” CBS4’s Mike Cugno asked Dr. Ricordi.

“This is both. If it works as it’s succeeded, it’s a treatment for the severe cases in which the complications are taking over and can lead to death in a very rapid fashion,” he responded.

Dr. Ricordi and his team are proactively contacting other hospitals to expand the trial further if successful.