This version is not peer-reviewed
Thalidomide-Revisited: Are COVID-19 Patients Going to be the Latest Victims of Yet Another Theoretical Drug-Repurposing?
: Received: 2 May 2020 / Approved: 3 May 2020 / Online: 3 May 2020 (07:31:53 CEST)
A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.
Journal reference: Front. Immunol. 2020, 11
The new pandemic coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a worldwide threatening health issue. Early progression of this disease starts in the lung airways with an exaggerated inflammation, triggered by the viral infection and characterized by a “cytokine storm” that can lead to lethal lung injuries. In the absence of an effective anti-viral molecule and until the formulation of a successful vaccine, anti-inflammatory drugs might offer a complementary tool for controlling the associated complications and thus decreasing the subsequent fatalities. Drug repurposing for several molecules has emerged as a rapid temporary solution for COVID-19. Among these drugs, Thalidomide, a historically emblematic controversial molecule that harbors an FDA approval for treating Erythema Nodosum Leprosum (ENL) and multiple myeloma (MM). Based on only one-case report of positive outcomes in a patient treated amongst others with Thalidomide, two clinical trials on the efficacy and safety of Thalidomide in treating severe respiratory complications in COVID-19 patients were registered. Conversely, the absence of any substantial, promising evidence on Thalidomide usage in that context along with the discontinued studies on the efficiency of this drug in similar pulmonary diseases might cause a significant obstacle for carrying on clinical studies. In this review, we will discuss the theoretical effectiveness of this drug in attenuating inflammatory complications that are encountered in patients with COVID-19 while pinpointing the lack of evidence that is needed to move forward with this drug.
COVID-19; Cytokine Storm; Lung Injury; Thalidomide; Anti-inflammatory Drug
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