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Synairgen drug doubles likelihood of recovery in hospitalised COVID-19 patients, early data show

Published on 20/07/20 at 11:34am

Respiratory drug firm Synairgen has, like many, been hard at work on a treatment for patients with COVID-19; the company has just revealed promising data on the interferon beta-based therapy, known as SNG001, in the treatment of patients hospitalised with the disease.

Synairgen’s trial examined 101 participants across nine UK hospital sites between 20 March and 27 May, with each receiving either SNG001 or placebo; average age of patients receiving SNG001 was 57.8 years, and 56.5 years in patients receiving placebo.

Patients receiving Synairgen’s therapy saw a 79% reduction in the likelihood of developing severe disease, either resulting in them requiring ventilation or in death, within 16 days of treatment compared to those on placebo. In total, three patients died in the placebo group during the trial; no deaths were recorded in the SNG001 group.

Furthermore, those receiving SNG001 were more than twice as likely to show “no limitation of activities or no clinical or virological evidence of infection”, representing a full recovery, compared to the placebo group.

Professor Tom Wilkinson, Chief Investigator on the trial and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton, said that the results confirmed the hypothesis “that interferon beta, a widely known drug that, by injection, has been approved for use in a number of other indications, has huge potential as an inhaled drug to be able to restore the lung’s immune response, enhancing protection, accelerating recovery and countering the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus.”

It was also noted that SNG001 improved the chances of hospital discharge in patients requiring oxygen or respiratory support, with median time to discharge recorded as nine days with placebo and six days with SNG001. However, these data were not seen as statistically significant.

“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’,” explained 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 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.”

Matt Fellows

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