What it does
Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN)(NASDAQFIRSTNORTH:FARON) is a Finnish drug discovery firm focusing on two programmes: Clevegen and Traumakine.
Immunotherapy treatment Clevegen is in a phase I/II trial (MATINS) for metastatic cutaneous melanoma as well as hepatobiliary/hepatocellular, pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal cancers.
Tumour cells are adept at creating a shield around themselves to evade detection by the immune system, therefore staving off destruction.
Clevegen has been designed to recognise cancer and break the tumour's protective shell.
The treatment is an anti-Clever-1 antibody which causes changes in the immune environment of solid tumours by switching Clever-1 positive immune suppressive macrophages to immune active macrophages.
Ultimately, if it is successful, this new breed of treatment will be used in combination with PD-1 inhibitors to tackle the killer disease.
Faron was also given the green light to broaden the scope of its phase I/II cancer trial after a review of the interim data.
The MATINS study of the immunotherapy Clevegen will now take in seven further strains of the disease besides the two already assessed - colorectal and ovarian.
The generic name is bexmarilimab.
In January, Faron said the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the phase II/III trial to combat the acute symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Traumakine, an intravenous interferon beta-1a drug, will be given to people who have been hospitalised but who do not yet need ventilation. It will be administered before corticosteroids are given.
The aim is to prevent systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS) and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) – and by extension improve sufferers’ condition and reduce the death rate among patients.
“IFN beta-1a has previously demonstrated a compelling scientific rationale as the body's first line of defence against viral infections and might be advantageous over current standard of care when given intravenously to patients suffering from COVID-19 induced ARDS,” said Faron chief executive Dr Markku Jalkanen in a statement.