This article was originally published here
Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2021 Nov 30. doi: 10.1007/s11356-021-17824-5. Online ahead of print.
Vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) is a neuropeptide that is produced by the lymphoid cells and plays a major role in immunological functions for controlling the homeostasis of the immune system. VIP has been identified as a potent anti-inflammatory factor, in boosting both innate and adaptive immunity. Since December 2019, SARS-Cov-2 was found responsible for the disease COVID-19 which has spread worldwide. No specific therapies or 100% effective vaccines are yet available for the treatment of COVID-19. Drug repositioning may offer a strategy and several drugs have been repurposed, including lopinavir/ritonavir, remdesivir, favipiravir, and tocilizumab. This paper describes the main pharmacological properties of synthetic VIP drug (Aviptadil) which is now under clinical trials. A patented formulation of vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), named RLF-100 (Aviptadil), was developed and finally got approved for human trials by FDA in 2001 and in European medicines agency in 2005. It was awarded Orphan Drug Designation in 2001 by the US FDA for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome and for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension in 2005. Investigational new drug (IND) licenses for human trials of Aviptadil was guaranteed by both the US FDA and EMEA. Preliminary clinical trials seem to support Aviptadil’s benefit. However, such drugs like Aviptadil in COVID-19 patients have peculiar safety profiles. Thus, adequate clinical trials are necessary for these compounds.