Macrophage modulation to reduce disease progression in hospitalized patients with COVID-19

Seriously ill patients with COVID-19 require ICU care, and have high rates of mortality, especially amongst patients with concurrent diseases such as high blood pressure. Recent clinical data demonstrate that disease progression is associated with an overwhelming, atypical cytokine response known as “Macrophage Activation Syndrome” (MAS). Macrophages are immune cells that can directly damage tissue or release cytokines that also damage distant organs leading to their failure. The overarching objective of this program is to develop a macrophage modulatory treatment aimed at reducing disease and saving lives.
Doctors and scientists at St Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, will participate in this uniquely translational study that extends from the ICU to basic science to drug development, and will (1) obtain vital data evaluating the cytokine profile from patients with worsening disease, and (2) perform patient-relevant lab studies of these markers in both human and rodent macrophages and (3) use a specialized transgenic rodent model with high blood pressure to test the protective effects of a potential new drug, TMi-018.

Faculty Supervisor:

Claudia Dos Santos;Andrew Baker


Paul Turgeon;Tanya Barretto


Translatum Medicus




Professional, scientific and technical services


University of Toronto


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