Faron Pharmaceuticals Oy (LON:FARN) (NASDAQFIRSTNORTH:FARON) said its drug Traumakine has been admitted to a large-scale global programme that will assess its potential in treating severe pneumonia, including patients with coronavirus (COVID-19).
Faron said its interferon beta-1 formulation will be delivered intravenously, which the company reckons offers the best “delivery route” for critically ill patients.
It will also be compared in the study with other treatments, including hydrocortisone medications. These steroid-based interventions, used in patients in respiratory distress, were seen as the potential root cause of a failed Faron phase III study of Traumakine.
"As this trial also has a hydrocortisone arm, it will provide a direct efficacy comparison between IFN beta-1a [Traumakine] and hydrocortisone, and will provide further prospective data on the concomitant use of these treatments, following previous observations that the use of overlapping corticosteroids are likely to have a deleterious effect on IFN beta-1,” said the drug developer’s chief executive, Dr Markku Jalkanen.
The Faron treatment has been accepted to the Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP).
Researchers plan to include 6,800 patients from study sites across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, excluding the US.
“The design of the REMAP-CAP trial will enable study subjects to be initiated onto investigational IV IFN beta-1a treatment relatively rapidly, on submission to intensive care, and before the development of ARDS [acute respiratory distress],” said CEO Jalkanen.
“Many of these patients have a severe viral infection and so are an optimal target cohort for the Traumakine-project and the investigation of its potential.”