The following is a summary of “A Pilot Trial of Thymalfasin (Thymosin-α-1) to Treat Hospitalized Patients With Hypoxemia and Lymphocytopenia Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 Infection,” published in the January 2023 issue of Infectious Diseases by Shehadeh, et al.

Although there was a lack of effectiveness and safety evidence, thymosin-α-1 (Tα1) may be a therapy option for coronavirus illness 2019 (COVID-19).

Among hospitalized patients with hypoxemia and lymphocytopenia brought on by COVID-19, researchers conducted a prospective, open-label, randomized study comparing the preliminary effectiveness and safety of thymalfasin (a synthetic version of Tα1) to the recommended course of treatment.

The analysis covered a total of 49 patients. Although neither difference was statistically significant, treatment patients with baseline high-flow oxygen (1.28 [.35–4.63]) or baseline low-flow oxygen (subdistribution hazard ratio, 1.48 [95% CI, .68–3.25]) had a greater rate of clinical recovery compared to control patients. On day 5 compared to day 1 among patients with baseline low-flow oxygen, treated patients had an average difference of 3.84 times more CD4+ T cells than control patients (P =.01). Nine severe adverse events in individuals receiving treatment were determined to not be connected to Tα1.

Tα1 was more effective than the standard of care in increasing CD4+ T-cell counts in patients receiving baseline low-flow oxygen support, and it may be used to treat COVID-19-related hypoxemia and lymphocytopenia in hospitalized patients.