Taiwan’s Food and Drug Administration has approved compassionate use of human umbilical mesenchymal stem cell drug UMC119-06 for the treatment of critically ill patients with COVID-19.
Developed by Meridigen Biotech, the stem-cell-based UMC119-06 has been in phase one clinical trial for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) at the Taipei Medical University-Shuang Ho Hospital. As per John Hsuan, the Founder at Meridigen, the other two new drugs treating Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) have as well been IRB-approved and in phase one trial, respectively.
Meridigen has long been in the field of respiratory failure relating to lung disease. It first started with pulmonary insufficiency of prematernity and applied for the use of orphan drug which was later developed for the treatment of COPD. The result of clinical trial using the drug had been great, paving the way for Meridigen to take part in COVID-19 treatment.
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs) will supress inflammation at the moment of organ failure caused by COVID-19, influenza or others. MSC has this feature that how bad inflammation could become, how effective MSC could be, said Mr Wu, General Manager of Meridigen.
While the company eyes on expansion globally, it works with IP companies in terms of technology and licensing. Meridigen inked a licensing agreement in April this year with Orilitia Biopharma based in Hong Kong, with aims at BPD product development.
Source in Chinese: Commercial Times