Synairgen’s inhaled COVID-19 treatment trial success
British drug discovery and development firm Synairgen has announced the positive result of a trial of its COVID-19 treatment SNG001.
Based on a protein called interferon beta, which the body itself produces, the treatment has initially been found to reduce the odds of a patient developing symptoms requiring ventilation by 79%. The protein is inhaled by patients infected by coronavirus to stimulate an immune response.
The double-blind and placebo-controlled trial involved 101 patients from the UK, over a period of months, with an average age in the mid-50s - placing them at higher risk of developing severe disease.
In a press release, CEO Richard Marsden said: "We are all delighted with the trial results announced today, which showed that SNG001 greatly reduced the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients who progressed from ‘requiring oxygen’ to ‘requiring ventilation’. It also showed that patients who received SNG001 were at least twice as likely to recover to the point where their everyday activities were not compromised through having been infected by SARS-CoV-2. 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 hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Our efforts are now focused on working with the regulators and other key groups to progress this potential COVID-19 treatment as rapidly as possible."
Having been spun out of research from the University of Southampton, the company remains based in the city.
Professor Stephen Holgate CBE, Medical Research Council Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton and Co-Founder of Synairgen, said: “Recognising 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 interferon beta, a naturally occurring antiviral protein, restores the lung’s ability to neutralise 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.”