Amsterdam UMC is starting a clinical comparative study among critically ill patients with COVID-19 who have been admitted to intensive care with severe pneumonia. The research is looking at the safety and effectiveness of treatment with an antibody that blocks an inflammatory factor, the complement factor C5a.

The complement system is an important defense against viruses, but can sometimes also cause excessive inflammation against the virus. The inflammatory response then does more harm than good. By switching off C5a this damage, caused by your own defense, can be prevented

Researcher Alexander Vlaar, intensivist at Amsterdam UMC: “This is the first comparative study in the Netherlands that focuses on the treatment of corona patients in intensive care who suffer from severe pneumonia. We still have to be very careful with predictions about the effectiveness of the treatment with this antibody, but the first studies in China are hopeful. ”

Pharmaceutical company InflaRx is sponsor of the research and has set up the study together with the teams of Dr Vlaar and Professor Diederik van de Beek of Amsterdam UMC. This international study is being conducted with multiple medical centers in Europe subject to regulatory approval and InflaRx.

Hopeful research

A recent Chinese publication shows that the complement system in humans plays an important role in the development of lung damage during a corona infection. This is important news in the fight against COVID-19 because, except for supportive measures, no treatment yet exists. This Chinese publication also reports that two COVID-19 patients treated with this antibody have recovered well. Alexander Vlaar: “We are now going to study the effect of this antibody properly and in a controlled manner. We wrote the protocol together with InflaRx and Amsterdam UMC will be leading in this international multicentre study. ”


At the moment the world is going through a severe corona crisis. Many scientists are researching drugs to combat this disease. For this research too, there is still a long way to go before a suitable therapy can be presented.

Funding for the research has been made possible by the newly established Corona Research Fund.