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Covid-19 treatment Synairgen shows promise, may keep patients off ventilators


Synairgen, a treatment that reduces hospital time for Covid-19 patients, is showing promise in Phase III trials which started up on Tuesday.

The Southampton-headquartered company Synairgen is engaged in a 610-patient trial of the drug. It has been shown to reduce hospital time by 80 per cent in previous testing, Pharma Times reported. Patients selected are those who require supplemental oxygen, the report said.

SNG001 is an inhaled formulation of interferon beta-1a, a naturally occuring protein which is believed to kickstart the body’s antiviral responses. The naturally-occurring protein, which is widely used in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, is understood to stimulate the immune system and prime cells to fight off coronavirus.

Synairgen previously announced preliminary results for its Phase II trial in hospitalised Covid-19 patients in July 2020.

The risk of developing severe disease (requiring ventilation or resulting in death) during the treatment period (day one to day 16) in this study was significantly cut by 79 per cent for patients receiving SNG001 compared to patients who received placebo, Pharma Times said.

Synairgen has appointed Parexel Biotech to help conduct the large-scale trial, with a number of UK sites having now been initiated. Additional sites in the US and the EU are now expected to follow.

The trial – called SG018 – is being conducted in around 20 countries and will seek to enrol a total of 610 COVID-19 patients who require supplemental oxygen. Synairgen is also running an ongoing Phase II trial of SNG001 in non-hospitalised ‘at risk’ Covid-19 patients.

“We need treatments as well as vaccines to fight highly pathogenic viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Development of treatments like ours will remain necessary in cases where vaccines are not effective, for those who do not get vaccinated, and in case the virus mutates to the point where vaccines become less effective,” said Richard Marsden, chief executive office of Synairgen, said in the report.

“We believe this trial presents an opportunity for a significant UK scientific breakthrough and, if given the right support, our drug could rapidly assist with the global crisis,” he added.


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