Authors: Harriet Wall (Future Science Group)
A novel, inhalable drug, SNG001, has shown positive results against COVID-19 in a trial recently conducted by Synairgen. This treatment utilizes a naturally occurring antiviral protein, interferon β (IFN-β), who’s deficiency in the lung has been linked with susceptibility to developing severe lower respiratory tract disease in COVID-19 patients.
The trial, which involved 101 COVID-19 patients, demonstrated that SNG100 reduces the chances of developing severe disease by 79% compared to a placebo. What’s more, recipients of the drug were more than twice as likely to recover from COVID-19, with a treatment duration of 28 days showing a statistically significant chance of recovery.
“We are all delighted with the trial results announced today, which showed that SNG001 greatly reduced the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients who progressed from ‘requiring oxygen’ to ‘requiring ventilation’”, commented Richard Marsden, CEO of Synairgen. “In addition, SNG001 has significantly reduced breathlessness, one of the main symptoms of severe COVID-19. This assessment of SNG001 in COVID-19 patients could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalized COVID-19 patients”.
Three subjects (6%) involved in the double-blind placebo-controlled trial died after being administered the placebo accrding to the randomized trial. Among the subjects treated with SNG001 there were no deaths.
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SNG001 works by delivering extra IFN-β directly to the lungs, correcting the deficiency seen in COVID-19 patients and counteracting the viral strategies to inhibit natural IFN-β production.
“Recognizing that SARS-CoV-2 is known to have evolved to evade the initial antiviral response of the lung, our inhaled treatment of giving high local concentrations of IFN-β, a naturally occurring antiviral protein, restores the lung’s ability to neutralize the virus, or any mutation of the virus or co-infection with another respiratory virus such as influenza or RSV, as could be encountered in the winter if there is a resurgence of COVID-19,” explained Stephen Holgate, Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton and Co-Founder of Synairgen.
The team are hoping to conduct further analysis over the coming weeks.
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