Bellvitge University Hospital and Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute (IDIBELL) had launched a clinical study, along with the pharmaceutical company Takeda, to evaluate the efficacy and safety of icatibant as a treatment against COVID-19.

This research is in recruitment phase and will include 120 patients from several Spanish hospitals. First results are expected in November.

Icatibant is authorized for the treatment of hereditary angioedema, a disorder of genetic origin that causes recurrent attacks of edema (swelling), weakening and pain in several parts of the body, which can cause death. This drug could perform two possible mechanisms of action against COVID-19: it could block the action of bradykinin increased with COVID-19 and it could inhibit the SARS-CoV-2 protease M, which is key in virus replication.

"The pandemic caused by COVID-19 has hit hard globally and research is needed to provide the best therapeutic options for patients. This has prompted us to initiate many investigations, including the first clinical trial on icatibant in patients with SARS-CoV-2", says Dr. Sebastià Videla, head of the Department of Clinical Research at IDIBELL.

Hospitalized patients with SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia and without invasive mechanical ventilation are the target population for this clinical trial. "This trial will be considered sucessful if,on the tenth day of treatment with icatibant, the patient's clinical status improves from grade 4 or 5 to grade 2 or lower and don't show important adverse reactions", explains Dr. Jordi Giol, from the Emergency Service of the Hospital de Bellvitge.

"Identifying effective therapeutic options for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 is one of the great current medical challenges, as new variants may appear and some people will not be vaccinated because of contraindication" says Dr. Camen Montoto, Takeda Spain's Medical, Regulatory and Quality Director.

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