Historical review of thymosin α 1 in infectious diseases

Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2015;15 Suppl 1:S117-27. doi: 10.1517/14712598.2015.1033393. Epub 2015 Jun 22.


Introduction: Thymosin α 1 (Tα1) is a peptidic biological response modifier, which plays a significant role in activating and regulating various cells of the immune system. For the above-mentioned activities it is expected to exert a clinical benefit in the treatment of diseases where the immune system is altered.

Areas covered: Several clinical trials have been carried out with Tα1 for treatment or prevention of many different infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and C, sepsis and Aspergillosis in bone marrow-transplanted patients. Data available on the use of Tα1 in infectious disease as well as a vaccine enhancer will be reviewed to possibly generate new working hypothesis.

Expert opinion: Tα1 has been widely used in thousands of patients. Nevertheless, there are some issues that have not yet been properly addressed (i.e., dose, schedule, combination treatments, end-points to be evaluated in clinical trials). In the most recent clinical trials Tα1 has been used at higher doses than those commonly used in the past showing a direct proportionality between the dose and the effect. The safety profile of Tα1 is excellent and it is virtually devoid of toxicity.

Keywords: immune modulation; immune system; infectious diseases; thymosin α 1; vaccine enhancer.

Publication types

  • Historical Article
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Communicable Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Communicable Diseases / history
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / drug therapy
  • History, 20th Century
  • History, 21st Century
  • Humans
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Sepsis / drug therapy
  • Thymalfasin
  • Thymosin / analogs & derivatives*
  • Thymosin / chemistry
  • Thymosin / history
  • Thymosin / therapeutic use
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Thymosin
  • Thymalfasin