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Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients Receiving Inhaled Nebulized Interferon Beta-1a Show Greater Improvement

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Nov 2020
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Data from a Phase 2 clinical trial of Synairgen plc’s (Southampton, UK) inhaled formulation of interferon beta-1a has shown positive results in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The trial randomized 101 hospitalized COVID-19 patients to either SNG001, Synairgen’s inhaled formulation of interferon beta-1a, or placebo. The double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial assessed the efficacy and safety of inhaled SNG001 as a therapy for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Patients were randomized (1:1) to receive SNG001 or placebo by inhalation via a mouthpiece once daily for 14 days. The primary endpoint was the change in clinical condition using the WHO Ordinal Scale for Clinical Improvement (OSCI) during the dosing period in the intention-to-treat population (ITT).

SNG001 was shown to be well tolerated and patients who received the drug had greater odds of improvement and recovered more rapidly. Patients receiving SNG001 had greater odds of improvement across the OSCI scale and were more likely to recover to “no limitation of activity” during treatment. There were three deaths in the placebo group and none in the SNG001 group.

“The results confirm our belief that interferon beta, a widely known drug approved for use in its injectable form for other indications, may have the potential as an inhaled drug to restore the lung’s immune response and accelerate recovery from COVID-19,” said Professor Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton and study lead author. This pH neutral, inhaled interferon beta-1a formulation (SNG001) provides high, local concentrations of the immune protein which boosts lung defenses rather than targeting specific viral mechanisms. This might carry additional advantages of treating COVID-19 when it occurs alongside infection by another respiratory virus such as influenza or Respiratory Syncytial Virus that may well be encountered in the winter months.”

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