Studying a human protein in the treatment of critically ill COVID-19 patients

Dr. Claudio Martin

Thanks to the help of donors, a local team is the first in the world to study a protein called annexin A5 as a potential therapy for patients with COVID-19.

“In the most severe cases, COVID-19 is complicated by hyperinflammation that can lead to sepsis, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multi-organ failure,” says Dr. Claudio Martin, a scientist at Lawson and intensive care physician at LHSC.

Sepsis is a life-threatening condition that occurs when the body’s response to an infection is out of balance, triggering hyperinflammation that can damage multiple organs. Many critically ill COVID-19 patients develop sepsis one to two days before ARDS, suggesting that sepsis is a major contributor to the development of respiratory and multi-organ failure.

Led by Dr. Martin, this clinical trial aims to fight sepsis in COVID-19 patients with a manufactured form of annexin A5 – a human protein that has strong anti-inflammatory properties. The team believes the protein will prevent cell death and blood clots associated with COVID-19, thereby preventing respiratory and multi-organ failure and potentially saving patients’ lives.

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