The lead candidate
Synairgen plc's (LON:SNG) lead candidate is SNG001, an inhaled interferon beta drug designed for people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) who are also suffering cold or flu infections.
In September it submitted a patent application,
The application follows the results of interim analysis of Synairgen’s exploratory Phase II clinical trial of SNG001 in COPD patients, which revealed that the treatment is well tolerated in the older population studied and that lung antiviral responses were “significantly enhanced”.
The patent submission follows a similar application by Synairgen in July for the use of inhaled interferon beta in COVID-19 patients.
The company is in discussions with “a number of regulatory agencies worldwide” to establish a route to the approval for its drug as a treatment of the severe symptoms of the virus and is working closely with its manufacturing partners on “scale-up activity”.
Over the years, Synairgen has accumulated an extensive bank comprised of blood, sputum, nasal lavage, biopsies, bronchial epithelial cells and fibroblasts from volunteers with asthma or COPD. Using this resource, the company has developed a number of advanced tissue models.
It uses these models to:
- Discover novel drug targets
- Identify disease-related lesions and underlying molecular mechanisms
- Conduct proof of concept testing and validation of novel drug targets
- Conduct screening assays for novel drug targets and lead target selection
- Provide support for clinical trial activities
What the boss says: Richard Marsden, chief executive
"We are very pleased to have generated patentable findings for our wholly-owned inhaled interferon beta candidate, SNG001, in both COPD and COVID-19 patients.”
“Whilst recognising that the COPD trial data provide a strong rationale for assessing SNG001 in COPD patients with severe viral lung infections, our immediate priority is to progress SNG001 as a therapeutic for COVID-19. Together with our advisors we are working to protect the value of this drug for shareholders and commercial partners over the longer term."
- Results from COVID-19 trial
- Partner for NASH candidate
- COPD patent submitted
What the broker says
finnCap holds a target price of 360p, though analysts said quantifying the coronavirus opportunity was “nigh on impossible” as the valuation “could go substantially higher”.
What happens next will depend on the “upcoming discussions with regulators, which should clarify the route to market and the potential for buying SNG001 ahead of the winter 2020 flu season and the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19”.