Recent statistics show that about a quarter of patients with severe COVID-19 hospitalized have some form of cardiovascular damage and up to two thirds of these suffer from an inflammation of the heart.
The Australian Institute of Medical Research QIMR Berghofer conducted a study and published several modes of COVID-19 that cause damage to the heart as well as identifying a drug capable of protecting, fighting, or reversing this traumatic process of the heart.
“We think it is important to understand the biological basis of heart damage in order to identify the medicine with a much higher chance of success “.
The results showed that, in severe cases of COVID-19, the immune system overreacted, releasing inflammatory cytokines into the bloodstream. This so-called “cytokine storm” reaction can damage several organs, including the heart.
Based on the research results, the Canadian company Resverlogix has expanded the clinical trial of the apabetalone drug in patients with COVID-19, thereby testing whether this drug can treat heart damage. Researchers at QIMR Berghofer have experimented with thousands of human heart cells grown in the lab by exposing them to the blood of COVID-19 patients to test several heart disease medications.
One of the drugs that has been shown to be effective in suppressing an inflammatory response is apabetalone. Apabetalone has been clinically tested for cardiovascular disease for over 5 years and may be marketed earlier for the treatment of patients with COVID-19.
The study is financed by the Queensland government and the Australian Government’s Medical Research Futures Fund (MRFF) helps identify potential new treatments for patients with COVID-19.