UK – Researchers assessing use of tick molecule for COVID-19

UK-based biotech ILC Therapeutics is working with the University of Oxford to investigate whether the use of evasins – molecules derived from ticks – could offer a new treatment option for patients with COVID-19 with significant lung damage.

The research indicates that evasins could prevent the progression of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (known as ARDS, and currently the leading cause of COVID-19 fatalities), by acting as a ‘fire extinguisher’ to put out the cytokine storms that attack the lungs, the firm noted.

Cytokine storms are caused by an overreaction of the body’s immune system, which over-produces dangerous chemical messengers called cytokines and chemokines that activate white blood cells like neutrophils and macrophages to attack the lungs in COVID-19 patients. If enough lung tissue is destroyed by these attacks, then the lungs cannot operate and patients die…