Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition caused by an intense immune response to infection. The natural chemicals released in the bloodstream to combat infection trigger system-wide inflammation, which can lead to multi-organ failure and death. One of the defining issues in sepsis is correctly diagnosing and treating the source of the infection in a timely manner. Standard treatment for sepsis involves administering broad-spectrum antibiotics, but a common issue with this treatment is the lack of specificity with the antibiotics and a need for extremely high doses for the treatment to be effective. Due to the nonspecific symptoms of sepsis that overlap with a multitude of other conditions and make sepsis difficult to diagnose, it has been estimated that the incidence of sepsis is severely underreported. Even so, current estimates suggest that sepsis occurs in approximately 2% of all hospitalizations and affects around 750,000 people a year in the United States alone. Additionally, sepsis is the second leading cause of death in noncoronary intensive care units (ICU) and the tenth leading cause of death nationwide. Consequently, the total cost of care per patient with sepsis reaches up to $50,000, an economic burden costing the U.S. $17 billion a year.
CAR represents a new paradigm in sepsis treatment that would address the issues of both high dosing and lack of specificity in septic patients as well as aid the high mortality rate of U.S patients affected by sepsis every year. Preclinical animal studies have shown promising results that demonstrate CAR’s ability to drastically improve survival rates both when co-administered with previously existing drugs at highly reduced doses or when administered as a stand-alone therapeutic. As there are no existing treatments for sepsis that use a peptide to enhance previously approved therapies, CAR represents a highly targeted innovative therapy designed to improve survival rates in septic patients without a need for high dosing.
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