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 is being investigated as a treatment for hospitalised COVID-19 patients and clinical studies have now reached the final stage of trials.
In all, the randomised placebo-controlled study will be conducted in around 20 countries, enrolling 610 COVID-19 patients who require supplemental oxygen.
After reporting the results for the primary and key secondary goals, enrolled patients will continue to be monitored for long-Covid symptoms.
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 need treatments as well as vaccines to fight highly pathogenic viruses such as SARS-CoV-2. Development of treatments like ours will remain necessary in cases where vaccines are not effective, for those who do not get vaccinated, and in case the virus mutates to the point where vaccines become less effective."
“We believe this trial presents an opportunity for a significant UK scientific breakthrough and, if given the right support, our drug could rapidly assist with the global crisis."
- 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”.