From the article:
“Aviptadil contains a vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP), a natural occurring peptide in the body that has been shown to protect the lungs from SARS-CoV-2.
VIP was first discovered by the late Dr. Sami Said in 1970. Although first identified in the lung, it was purified from the intestinal tract. VIP is now known to be produced throughout the body and to be primarily concentrated in the lungs. VIP has been shown in more than 100 peer-reviewed studies to have potent anti-inflammatory/anti-cytokine activity in animal models of respiratory distress, acute lung injury, and inflammation.
VIP binds specifically to the alveolar type II cell (ATII) in the air sac of the lung. VIP stimulates ATII cells to make the surfactant that must coat the lining of the lung in order for the lung to exchange oxygen with the blood. Loss of surfactant causes respiratory failure and air sac collapse.”