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Current Affairs

Aviptadil drug

Date: 16 August 2020 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

An old drug formulation, RLF-100, is being probed to treat Covid-19 patients after initial studies have shown that the drug is able to halt SARS-CoV-2 virus replication in lungs.

 

Background

RLF-100 has been granted “Orphan Drug Designation” by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome and chronic lung diseases.

 

Details

  • RLF-100, also called Aviptadil, is a formulation of synthetic human Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP). VIP is released throughout the body, but remains mostly concentrated in lungs.

  • It is produced by immune cells and nerve endings and acts as a neurotransmitter. It helps improve muscle activity and blood flow in gastrointestinal tract.

  • Studies have shown VIP has anti-inflammatory and anti-cytokine activity properties. Preliminary studies have shown this protects alveolar type II cells that are responsible for oxygen exchange in lungs.

  • Since coronavirus attacks lungs and the alveolar cells, the drug may be helpful in preventing SARS-CoV-2 onslaught in alveolar cell and limit damage in lung.

  • The drug will be targeted on those requiring high flow nasal oxygen, and those on non-invasive or invasive ventilator support. Doses for three successive days will be given to patients.

  • There are still no well-designed clinical trials that have found optimistic findings for RLF-100 and research into its use to treat Covid-19 is in nascent stages.

  • The manufacturer claims rapid clearance of pneumonia and improvement in oxygen levels in patients this drug was used on emergency basis.