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  • Impression Healthcare (IHL) has commenced an animal study for the treatment of sepsis-associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (SAARDS)
  • SAARDS is the leading cause of death associated with COVID-19, due to a runaway immune response which causes organ and tissue damage
  • Impression has filed a provisional patent for IHL-675A, a combination drug incorporating cannabidiol and hydroxychloroquine
  • The treatment is aimed at suppressing the body’s hyperinflammation response, known as a cytokine storm
  • Any new standard of care for SAARDS – particularly in relation to the treatment in COVID-19 patients – will fill a significant gap in medical science
  • Impression Healthcare is up a slight 1.96 per cent and shares are trading at 5.2 cents each

Impression Healthcare (IHL) has commenced an animal study for the treatment of sepsis associated acute respiratory distress syndrome (SAARDS).

SAARDS is the leading cause of death associated with COVID-19, due to a runaway immune response which causes organ and tissue damage.

The new study will test Impression’s novel treatment, IHL-675A, in suppressing this runaway response known as a cytokine storm.

The study

Impression filed a provisional patent for IHL-675A in the treatment of SAARDS in April. IHL-675A is a combination drug, using a mix of cannabidiol (CBD) and hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).

The study will be conducted in two parts.

Stage one will test the individual drug components in a dose escalation study to assess the impacts of CBD and HCQ in rodents with induced sepsis. The increasing doses will be assessed for both drug efficacy and toxicity.

Stage two will incorporate the data from stage one to assess specific combinations of the two ingredients. This phase of testing will attempt to pin down the best formulation of the combination drug to yield an optimal inflammation dampening response.

Damaging storms

Medical authorities and researchers worldwide are still trying to understand how COVID-19 acts on the body.

SAARDS has so far proven to be the leading cause associated with mortality from the novel coronavirus.

This is attributed to the sepsis springing from the body’s immune response, whereby signalling molecules known as cytokines are over-produced, creating a runaway feedback loop.

As more immune cells are attracted by the cytokines, they produce more of the signalling molecules, which attract even more immune cells, eventually leading to tissue and organ damage.

SAARDS is associated with such cytokine storms causing inflammation in the lungs, inhibiting the patient’s ability to oxygenate blood.

Symptoms can be alleviated through the use of ventilators, but this treatment fails to address the underlying causes of SAARDS. The sepsis-related respiratory condition is also associated with increased mortality rates in other lung, urinary tract, stomach, and skin infections.

A new hope

There is currently no approved pharmacological treatment for SAARDS, which has been an unmet medical need for decades.

Any new standard of care for SAARDS – particularly in relation to the treatment in COVID-19 patients – will fill a significant gap in medical science.

While hydroxychloroquine already appears to be somewhat of a failure as a standalone treatment for COVID-19, Impression will be hoping the IHL-675A study yields more positive results for the maligned malaria drug.

Impression Healthcare is up a slight 1.96 per cent and shares are trading at 5.2 cents each at 3:11 pm AEST.

IHL by the numbers
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