SNG001 is an inhaled formulation of interferon-beta-1a and is currently being developed to treat people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) that also have respiratory viral infections.
Earlier studies have shown treatment activated antiviral pathways in the lung along with improving lung function for sufferers with a respiratory viral infection. The drug is also well tolerated.
Synairgen's phase II trial in COVID-19 patients will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, starting “imminently” with an initial 100 people.
"We have worked intensively with the relevant authorities and collaborators to enable SNG001 to be assessed in COVID-19 patients. SNG001 has been well tolerated in clinical trials in over 200 respiratory patients to date and has accelerated lung function recovery in two Phase II asthma trials in patients with a cold or flu infection,” said Synairgen chief executive Richard Marsden.
“A successful outcome from this trial in COVID-19 patients would be a major breakthrough in the fight against this coronavirus pandemic."
While the company is pausing work on the almost-complete phase II trial of COPD sufferers to protect this vulnerable patient population, the early signs were that SNG001 provided “clinical benefit in lung function”.
In the update, the company said that since the outbreak it had been approached by - and is in discussion with - a number of other medical, scientific, and governmental bodies at home and around the world “seeking to investigate novel therapeutics in this area”.