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.