Cell Biol Int. 2020 Aug 7. doi: 10.1002/cbin.11440. Online ahead of print.
Since its eruption in China, novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has been reported in most of the countries and territories (>200) of the world with ~ 18 million confirmed cases (as of August 3, 2020). In most of the countries, Covid-19 upsurge is uncontrolled with a significant mortality rate. Currently no treatment effective for Covid-19 is available in the form of vaccines or antiviral drugs and patients are currently treated symptomatically. Although majority of the patients develop mild symptoms and recover without mechanical ventilation for respiratory management, severe respiratory illness develops in a significant portion of affected patients and may result in death. While the scientific community is working to develop vaccines and drugs against Covid-19 pandemic, novel alternative therapies may reduce mortality rate. Recent use of stem cells for critically ill Covid-19 patients in a small group of patients in China and subsequent Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) of stem cells by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to GIOSTAR (Global Institute of Stem Cell Therapy and Research) and Athersys has created excitement among medical community. As a result, several clinical trials have been registered using stem cells for Covid-19 treatment that aim to use different cell sources, dosage and importantly diverse targeted patient groups. In this brief review the possibilities of stem cell use in Covid-19 patients and relevant challenges in their use have been discussed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.