Camostat Mesylate May Reduce Severity of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Sepsis: A First Observation

Crit Care Explor. 2020 Nov 16;2(11):e0284. doi: 10.1097/CCE.0000000000000284. eCollection 2020 Nov.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 cell entry depends on angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 and transmembrane serine protease 2 and is blocked in cell culture by camostat mesylate, a clinically proven protease inhibitor. Whether camostat mesylate is able to lower disease burden in coronavirus disease 2019 sepsis is currently unknown.

Design: Retrospective observational case series.

Setting: Patient treated in ICU of University hospital Göttingen, Germany.

Patients: Eleven critical ill coronavirus disease 2019 patients with organ failure were treated in ICU.

Interventions: Compassionate use of camostat mesylate (six patients, camostat group) or hydroxychloroquine (five patients, hydroxychloroquine group).

Measurements and main results: Clinical courses were assessed by Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment score at days 1, 3, and 8. Further, viral load, oxygenation, and inflammatory markers were determined. Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment score was comparable between camostat and hydroxychloroquine groups upon ICU admission. During observation, the Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment score decreased in the camostat group but remained elevated in the hydroxychloroquine group. The decline in disease severity in camostat mesylate treated patients was paralleled by a decline in inflammatory markers and improvement of oxygenation.

Conclusions: The severity of coronavirus disease 2019 decreased upon camostat mesylate treatment within a period of 8 days and a similar effect was not observed in patients receiving hydroxychloroquine. Camostat mesylate thus warrants further evaluation within randomized clinical trials.

Keywords: Sepsis-related Organ Failure Assessment; camostat mesylate; coronavirus disease 2019; sepsis.