On Tuesday March 10th SMSbiotech, Inc submitted their proposal to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to conduct a pilot clinical study on seriously and critically ill patients with respiratory compromise from COVID-19 associated pneumonitis and/or Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.
Over several years, SMSbiotech has developed a patented technology to isolate human Small Mobile Stem (SMS) cells from adult tissue. SMS cells have many unique features including small size, mobility and extensive proliferation potential. SMS cells present also extraordinary chemical and physical resilience that facilitate handling, operation and tissue administration. SMSbiotech was founded in 2015 and is located in southern California.
SMS cells interact strongly with various other adult cells such as vascular endothelial cells, fibroblasts, Aleveolar Type II lung cells and mesenchymal stem cells (of different tissue origin). In vitro data suggest these interactions could be critical for establishing a pleiotropic mechanism to human in vivo organ repair and regeneration.
Small Mobile Stem (SMS) cells have been shown in animal experiments to promote repair and regeneration of damaged tissue and organs. Unlike other adult stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells, that have scaling limitations, SMS cells have extensive proliferation capacity and are being used to produce large amounts of cells with stable quality. SMS cells present very little if any major histocompatibility proteins, which makes them significantly less immunogenic than even MSCs [How SMS cells differ from MSCs]. Currently these cells are being used to produce angiogenic extracellular matrices for research (commercial assays) (link) and for forthcoming therapeutic purposes (link). The application of SMS cells of allogeneic source, grown and manufactured under GMP conditions, is proposed as a potential effective treatment that could repair critically damaged tissues by the coronavirus. The advantage of that medical approach is largely independent of the specific viral strain and its ability to mutate.
In fact, worldwide there are 650,000 deaths related to respiratory diseases linked to the influenza virus. More than 65 million people around the world have moderate or severe COPD, and experts predict that this number will continue to rise worldwide over the next 50 years.
The proposed action plan includes conducting the pilot clinical study on patients with COVID-19 associated pneumonitis using SMS cells.