Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has affected over 8 million people worldwide. We underscore the potential benefits of conducting a randomized open-label unblinded clinical trial to evaluate the role of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in the treatment of COVID-19. Some COVID-19 patients are characterized with cytokine storm syndrome that can cause severe and irreversible damage to organs leading to multi-organ failure and death. Therefore, it is critical to control both programmed cell death (apoptosis) and the hyper-immune inflammatory response in COVID-19 patients to reduce the rising morbidity and mortality. UDCA is an existing drug with proven safety profiles that can reduce inflammation and prevent cell death. National Geographic reported that, “China Promotes Bear Bile as Coronavirus Treatment”. Bear bile is rich in UDCA, comprising up to 40–50% of the total bile acid. UDCA is a logical and attainable replacement for bear bile that is available in pill form and merits clinical trial consideration.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors gratefully acknowledge the support provided for this project by NASA through grant NAG5-6410 (LTSA). P. J. G. acknowledges support through NASA contract NAS8-39073 (CXC). We thank the anonymous referee, Fred Hamann, Martin Elvis, and Smita Mathur for valuable comments. The data in this Letter are based on observations made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, obtained from the data archive at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc., under the NASA contract NAS 5-26555.
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
- Clinical trial
- Cytokine storm
- Ursodeoxycholic acid