Dr. Bruce Patterson of incellDx and his team are developing a program to help Longhaulers, persons with chronic COVID (or “LongCovid”). His company has the ability to produce a unique immune profile for each patient, which may possibly, hopefully, indicate a path to treatment or recovery. The following is his statement to me by e-mail on Thursday, 15 October 2020:
Dr. Bruce Patterson: “Thank you for reaching out. Yes we are putting together an exciting program to help all those that are suffering from Chronic COVID. From the hundreds of patients we have analyzed, what is clear is that everyone is different immunologically yet there are some common symptoms. Much like cancer, we are putting together a personalized medicine approach to diagnosing and treating long haulers and many of the elements are coming together.
“We should be live with MDBiosciences next week to do large scale testing of patients’ blood. In addition, we are putting together a medical group through a partnership with a Silicon Valley telemedicine company to interpret the results and recommend targeted treatment with therapies that are already in the market.
“A really exciting component will be a mental health quantitative assessment to address the mental and emotional trauma that these patients are going through. Ultimately we will have algorithms to assess response to therapy and possibly predict which therapies might work.” [Email 15 Oct 2020]
It’s important for Longhaulers to know that, in offering ” a mental health quantitative assessment,” this initiative is in no way implying that LongCovid is due to anxiety, stress, or mental health problems. Chronic COVID is a real physiological condition, caused at least in part by immune system dysregulation. And the expertise of incellDX is in that precise area. They are not dismissing the condition as if it were merely psychological. Instead, they are acknowledging the mental and emotional harm cause by this long term ailment.
MDBiosciences has previously issued a statement on this topic here: IncellDx and MD Biosciences Sign Definitive Agreement for Commercialization of COVID-19/Cytokine Storm Cytokine Panel and CCR5 Receptor Occupancy in US and EU [Article 15 Sept 2020].
MDBiosciences “will validate and begin commercially offering lab testing in the U.S. and European Union to measure levels of COVID/Cytokine Storm-related cytokines, which are highly elevated in patients with COVID-19 and often remain abnormal in patients recovering from COVID-19, but still suffering from symptoms. These patients are referred to as ‘long-haulers’. ”
Within the statement from MDBiosciences, Dr. Patterson says: “We are pleased to get these solutions out prior to the approval of Cytokine Storm-related therapeutics, and in the short term, are focused on helping those COVID-19 patients still suffering symptoms long after diagnosis—so called long-haulers. To that effort, we will be establishing a COVID-19 long-hauler diagnosis and treatment initiative involving a multi-disciplinary approach to improving the lives of those suffering long-term symptoms.”
There are several important points in the above information. Finally, there is a research, diagnostic and treatment initiative aimed at helping Longhaulers. Thousands of studies on Covid-19 have been published in 2020, and very few even acknowledge this condition. This initiative offers HOPE where previously there was none.
Many Longhaulers have been suffering for months on end. And one of the worst aspects of their condition is not having any recourse. The doctors they see often dismiss their problems as based on anxiety or stress. They have difficulty finding a physician who will view them as a patient in need of treatment. And even if they can find a physician who is willing to treat them, there’s no guidance from research or from medical experts. The doctors are flying blind. So this initiative from incellDx and MDBiosciences is a big step forward for Longhaulers.
It’s also important for Longhaulers to know that the treatments being recommended will be readily-available medications. Dr. Patterson has said: “In addition, we are putting together a medical group through a partnership with a Silicon Valley telemedicine company to interpret the results and recommend targeted treatment with therapies that are already in the market.”
There has been a lot of talk online among Longhaulers about new treatments that are still in the experimental stage of research and development. These treatments are not going to be widely available for some time, perhaps not for many months, whereas the treatments that will be offered by Patterson’s team will be off-the-shelf and relatively inexpensive medications.
Please note that I am not a longhauler myself. I am writing about Covid-19 and LongCovid in order to help those who are suffering from these ailments.
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
an author, not a doctor