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Hypothesis: Pentoxifylline is a potential cytokine modulator therapeutic in COVID-19 patients
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  • Bruce Hendry,
  • NIna Stafford,
  • Ahran Arnold,
  • Arvind Sangwaiya,
  • Vijay Manglam,
  • Stuart Rosen,
  • Jayantha ArnoldOrcid
Bruce Hendry
Kings College London
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NIna Stafford
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
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Ahran Arnold
National Heart and Lung Institute
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Arvind Sangwaiya
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
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Vijay Manglam
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
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Stuart Rosen
National Heart and Lung Institute
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Jayantha Arnold
Orcid
London North West University Healthcare NHS Trust
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Peer review status:Published

Aug 2020Published in Pharmacology Research & Perspectives volume 8 issue 4. 10.1002/prp2.631

Abstract

We propose a new hypothesis that the established drug pentoxifylline deserves attention as a potential repurposed therapeutic for COVID-19. Pentoxifylline is an anti-inflammatory agent that suppresses adenosine responses, reduces Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha, Interleukin 1, Interleukin 6 and Interferon gamma and may act to reduce tissue damage during the cytokine storm response to SARS-CoV-2 infection. This agent has been used clinically for many years and has a favourable profile of safety and tolerability. Pre-clinical data support pentoxifylline as effective in cytokine-driven lung damage. Clinical studies of pentoxifylline in radiation and cytokine-induced lung damage in humans are positive and consistent with anti-inflammatory efficacy. Pentoxifylline is a readily available, off-patent, inexpensive drug suitable for large scale use, including in resource-limited countries. Current trials of therapeutics are largely focussed on the inhibition of viral processes. We advocate urgent randomised trials of pentoxifylline for COVID-19 as a complementary approach to target the host responses.