Synairgen shares rise over 450% as COVID-19 drug has huge potential

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The FINANCIAL — Synairgen plc, the respiratory drug discovery and development company which originated from research at the University of Southampton, is pleased to announce positive results from its clinical trial of SNG001, its wholly-owned inhaled formulation of interferon beta, in hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Researchers have announced the results of an initial trial which found the odds of Covid-19 patients not needing ventilation, or dying, while being treated in hospital were 79% better among those given SNG001 compared with those given a placebo.

Shares of Synairgen soared more than 450% in London on Monday after the company reported positive early results from a Phase 2 trial of a potential Covid-19 drug. The company said the trial, showed that the treatment greatly reduced the number of patients needing intensive care and accelerated recovery. Synairgen’s shares have skyrocketed nearly 2,800% year-to-date, a sign of how eager investors are for treatments or a vaccine to combat the coronavirus pandemic and help get the economy back on track, as reported by CNN.

The drug, SNG001, is a formulation of a naturally occurring antiviral protein called interferon beta that’s inhaled directly into the lungs in the hope of stimulating an immune response. The treatment is aimed at preventing infected patients deteriorating from requiring oxygen to being placed on a ventilator. Synairgen will now have to present the findings to regulators around the world, and will hope to follow antiviral drug remdesivir in receiving emergency approval from the British government, CNBC wrote.

The double-blind placebo-controlled trial recruited 101 patients from 9 specialist hospital sites in the UK during the period 30 March to 27 May 2020. Patient groups were evenly matched in terms of average age (56.5 years for placebo and 57.8 years for SNG001), comorbidities and average duration of COVID-19 symptoms prior to enrolment (9.8 days for placebo and 9.6 days for SNG001).

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Over the treatment period, the measure of breathlessness was markedly reduced in patients who received SNG001 compared to those receiving placebo (p=0.007). Three subjects (6%) died after being randomised to placebo. There were no deaths among subjects treated with SNG001.

The drug, called SNG001, is delivered via an inhaler and is based on interferon beta, a protein produced naturally in the body that plays an important role in coordinating the body’s antiviral response. Researchers have announced the results of an initial trial which found the odds of Covid-19 patients not needing ventilation, or dying, while being treated in hospital were 79% better among those given SNG001 compared with those given a placebo. What is more, the team behind the trial say those given the drug were just over twice as likely to show “no limitation of activities” or “no clinical or virological evidence of infection” during the 16-day study period – in other words, the chance of recovery was boosted. Those given the drug also showed a reduction in breathlessness, according to The Guardian.

Richard Marsden, CEO of Synairgen, said: “We are all delighted with the trial results announced today, which showed that SNG001 greatly reduced the number of hospitalised COVID-19 patients who progressed from ‘requiring oxygen’ to ‘requiring ventilation’. It also showed that patients who received SNG001 were at least twice as likely to recover to the point where their everyday activities were not compromised through having been infected by SARS-CoV-2.”

Synairgen is a respiratory drug discovery and development company founded by University of Southampton Professors Stephen Holgate, Donna Davies and Ratko Djukanovic. The business, focused primarily on lung viral defence in asthma and COPD, uses its differentiating human biology BioBank platform and world-renowned international academic KOL network to discover and develop novel therapies for respiratory disease.

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Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. At this time, there are no specific vaccines or treatments for COVID-19. However, there are many ongoing clinical trials evaluating potential treatments. Currently, there are 5,337,538 active cases of coronavirus in the world. 9,401,751 people have already recovered.

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