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Mesoblast share price zooms 20% higher on coronavirus development

The Mesoblast Limited (ASX: MSB) share price has been on fire on Tuesday after the release of a positive update.

In morning trade the allogeneic cellular products developer’s shares were up as much as 20% to $2.20.

What did Mesoblast announce?

This morning Mesoblast provided an update on its allogeneic mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) product candidate remestemcel-L.

According to the release, the company intends to evaluate remestemcel-L in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) caused by coronavirus (COVID-19) in the United States, Australia, China, and Europe.

Management revealed that it is in active discussions with various government and regulatory authorities, medical institutions, and pharmaceutical companies to implement these activities.

Remestemcel-L is being developed for rare pediatric and adult inflammatory conditions. It is currently being reviewed by the United States FDA for potential approval in the treatment of children with steroid-refractory aGVHD.

Why remestemcel-L and the coronavirus?

Sadly, mortality in COVID-19 infected patients with ARDS is reported to approach 50%. It is associated with older age, co-morbidities such as diabetes, higher disease severity, and elevated markers of inflammation.

The company notes that current therapeutic interventions do not appear to be improving in-hospital survival.

Management believes that remestemcel-L has potential for use in the treatment of ARDS, which is the principal cause of death in COVID-19 infection.

This has been supported by recently published results from an investigator-initiated clinical study conducted in China which reported that allogeneic MSCs cured or significantly improved functional outcomes in all seven treated patients with severe COVID-19 pneumonia.

In addition to this, post-hoc analysis of a 60-patient randomised controlled study in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) showed that remestemcel-L infusions significantly reduced inflammatory biomarkers.

As the same inflammatory biomarkers are also elevated in COVID-19, management believes this demonstrates why remestemcel-L could be useful in the treatment of patients with ARDS due to COVID-19.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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