COVID-19 treatment: RLF-100 or Aviptadil is explored for treating viral infection; here is why
Treating Coronavirus with RLF-100: With the number of Coronavirus cases increasing significantly, an old-age drug RLF-100 or Aviptadil, used for treatment for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and chronic lung diseases, has now been proposed for treatment of COVID-19 infection. According to a report by the IE, the drug is being probed as some studies indicated that it is able to halt the replication of viruses in lungs.
Before understanding how this drug helps, it is crucial to know what this drug actually is. The report said that Aviptadil is a formulation of synthetic human Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP) which was discovered in 1970 by Dr Sami Said. VIP is produced in the human body and a major part of it is accumulated in lungs only. As produced by the immune system, this polypeptide helps improve blood flow as well as muscle activities. Apart from this, VIP also possesses anti-inflammatory and anti-cytokine activity properties which further protect lung cells responsible for oxygen exchange. Since the COVID-19 infects these cells of lungs only, preliminary studies showed that using Aviptadil can limit the damage of the virus on the lungs. ‘
Currently, a trial to understand how helpful the drug can be, is being conducted by NeuroRx and Relief Therapeutics. Citing CEO of NeuroRx Prof Jonathan Javitt, the report said that placebo-controlled trials are being conducted in order to check whether the impact of drug in less-ill and severely-ill COVID-19 patients. For now, there have been no clinical trials that found results for RLF-100 optimistic per se and the current trials for COVID-19 treatment is still in a very early stage.
Meanwhile in India, the report highlighted that a Mumbai-based doctor of Breach Candy Hospital has recently prescribed this drug to a patient who is critically ill. It is to note that the drug is not available in India and it is being tried to procure from the US after the doctor’s prescription. However, other doctors are waiting for some more scientific evidence in order for them to prescribe this drug to Coronavirus positive patients.