Cytosorbents CEO on Potential Coronavirus Treatment

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Dr. Phillip Chan, CEO of Cytosorbents, joined TheStreet to break down exactly how the company's device, CytoSorb--which is normally used to help treat the flu--has been used to help treat COVID-19.

He also explained why there's been such a need for ventilators.

Watch the full interview for more.

Video Transcript:

Katherine Ross:
We're hearing a lot about the various vaccines and treatments being used to treat and possibly prevent the coronavirus as the virus continues to shut down our everyday lives. With me today is Dr Phillip Chan, CEO of CytoSorbents. Please explain to me, and the viewer who isn't familiar with your company, in 30 seconds or less what CytoSorbs is.

Dr. Phillip Chan:
Well, pleasure to be here, Katherine. So CyboSorbents is a medical device company that specializes in blood purification to treat deadly cytokine storm in life threatening illnesses where inflammation plays a deadly role such as in sepsis, influenza, now COVID-19 infection, trauma and many other illnesses. CytoSorb is approved in the European Union and distributed in 58 countries around the world now with more than 80,000 uses in the world as a way to treat this cytokine storm. So one of the exciting things that we have that we've learned about is that CytoSorb is now been used to treat 65 patients in China as well as in Italy with COVID-19 infection.

Katherine Ross:
We've been hearing a lot in the news about these ventilators and how key they are to help patients in the ICU suffering from COVID-19. Would CytoSorb prevent these people from going on ventilators or would it just compliment that?

Dr. Phillip Chan:
So the lack of ventilators and other resources is the exact problem that they're seeing in Italy where their ICUs and hospitals are overrun with patients who require intensive care. So patients typically with COVID-19 infection often have very severe lung failure where they require mechanical ventilation to stay alive. And they're often on those mechanical ventilators for weeks to months at a time with no hope of really getting off that until the disease takes its course.

Dr. Phillip Chan:
Well that lung failure is often driven by the cytokine storm, which causes the lungs to become leaky, allowing inflammatory cells, fluid and inflammatory mediators such as cytokines to enter the airspaces of the lung, essentially drowning the patient from inside out. And what CytoSorb is designed to do when used early enough is to try to prevent this catastrophic lung injury from happening, and in doing so, potentially help reduce the need for mechanical ventilation and help patients get off mechanical ventilation faster. And so we believe that this is a critical element in terms of managing a patient's who are stricken by COVID-19 infection and hope to be able to play some part in that here in the United States as well as in many countries abroad.

Katherine Ross:
Thank you for joining us today, Dr Chan. And for more on the coronavirus, please head on over to thestreet.com.