A Cuban drug developed by the country’s Center for Molecular Immunology has shown “positive results” in treating patients with the coronavirus, according to the latest study by the Public Health Ministry.

The virus can cause a severe case of an illness called cytokine storm syndrome in infected patients, according to the study released Tuesday. Cytokine storm syndrome means that the immune system is producing too many inflammatory signals which can lead to organ failure and death.

Itolizumab, a “first in class” humanized IgG1 monoclonal antibody, has been shown to reduce the release of cytokines that produce inflammation.

In January, Cuban researchers shared findings from a study on the effectiveness of the treatment of three COVID-19 patients in serious or critical condition, in the international medical journal Immunotherapy.

Scientists said, “two of the patients exhibited respiratory and radiological improvement allowing them to recover completely.”

The drug could reduce the morbidity and mortality in severe coronavirus cases, they added.

Cuba has registered nearly 30,000 infections and 220 deaths, according to US-based Johns Hopkins University.

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