SUGAR LAND, Texas (KTRK) -- A Sugar Land-based stem cell lab has been given approval by the FDA to study whether stem cells can be used to treat COVID-19 symptoms.
Hope Biosciences has started a Phase II clinical trial where they evaluate the efficacy and safety stem cells provide to the immune system against COVID-19.
The stem cell treatment could boost the immune systems of pre-symptom and high-risk patients, according to Hope Biosciences CEO Donna Chang. For example, elderly patients with pre-existing conditions who live in a nursing home could be given stem cell treatments.
The treatments could lessen symptoms and drastically improve survival rates.
"Most people who have been severely affected by COVID-19 ha pre-existing conditions," Chang said. "We are pre-treating participants who are at a higher risk of developing severe COVID-19, with the belief that we can prepare their immune systems, giving them their best chance to fight the virus."
Besides this FDA approved COVID-19 trial that just began, Chang says Hope Biosciences have filed two other applications for clinical trials related to the virus.
"Our ultimate goal is to prevent anyone from needing mechanical ventilation," Chang said.