Aim: There is a critical need for safe and effective treatments for COVID-19. One possible type of treatment is cellular medicine such as stem cell therapy, but its potential is unclear. Here, our aim was to assess the potential impact of the many cellular medicine trials for COVID-19. Materials & methods: We collected and analyzed data for defined criteria from trial registries. Results: Our data suggest that relatively few of these COVID-19 trials will produce high-level evidence, but that on average they may be somewhat more rigorous than typical cell therapy trials unrelated to COVID-19. Conclusion: Most COVID-19 cellular medicine trials have relatively low potential for rapid, concrete impact. We discuss the findings in the context of the cellular medicine field overall.
Keywords: COVID-19; MSCs; cellular medicine; clinical trials; regenerative medicine; stem cells.