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Miller School of Medicine | University of Miami

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New Cell Therapy Trial Launches for Patients with Severe COVID-19

Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

Camillo Ricordi, M.D.

An international team of scientists led by Camillo Ricordi, M.D., director of the Diabetes Research Institute and Cell Transplant Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, was granted immediate FDA authorization for a 24-patient clinical trial to test the safety and exploratory efficacy of umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells to block the life-threatening lung inflammation that accompanies severe cases of COVID-19.

“There is no time to waste,” said Dr. Ricordi, the principal investigator, who is the Stacy Joy Goodman Professor of Surgery. “Patients who die from COVID-19 have a median time of just 10 days between first symptoms and death. In severe cases oxygen levels in the bloodstream drop, and the inability to breathe pushes patients toward their end very quickly; any intervention that might prevent that trajectory would be

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