Aiming to protect lung tissue: investigating inhaled administration of angiotensin-(1-7) to COVID-19 patients with acute lung injury
SARS coronavirus-2 enters human cells through binding of its spike protein to the ACE-2 receptor on the cell surface. This leads to reduced production of angiotensin-(1-7). In the lungs, this endogenous peptide has a protective effect on lung tissue. Lack of this peptide may be a cause of the severe damage seen in the lungs of COVID-19 patients. The aim of a project studying inhalation of MAS receptor agonists by COVID-19 patients with acute lung injury is to investigate inhaled administration of angiotensin-(1-7) as a therapeutic option and to find out whether well-timed inhalation of this peptide can prevent severe lung injury. Fraunhofer ITEM is a partner in this project. With decades of experience and international reputation in the field of inhalation toxicology, the institute is in charge of the preclinical inhalation toxicology studies to be performed under GLP conditions.
The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is funding the whole project with about 4 million euros. It is one of eight BMBF projects in the funding program “Research and development of urgently needed therapeutics against SARS-CoV-2.”
Partners: EXPLICAT Pharma GmbH (coordinator), ABX advanced biochemical compounds GmbH, Ulm University, NEBU-TEC med. Produkte Eike Kern GmbH, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil), Wacker Chemie AG, Medical Center – University of Freiburg, Fraunhofer ITEM.