MGC Pharmaceuticals Ltd (ASX:MXC) (OTCMKTS:MGCLF) has surged 41% this morning after results from pre-clinical in-vitro laboratory tests which have shown effective immunological activity for the use of ArtemiC as an immune-modulatory agent for the treatment of COVID-19.
The in-vitro immunological evaluations were conducted by independent clinical research laboratory, MyPlant Bio, Israel.
A final report of results from the testing supports the claim that ArtemiC can modify the function of human immune cells in response to inflammatory stimuli.
Specifically, some elements of the formulation demonstrated an effective response on immune function in a manner considered desirable in the treatment of COVID-19.
MGC Pharma's shares are trading higher and this morning have been up as much as 41% to 3.1 cents.
The study was a preclinical in-vitro immunological evaluation of the micellized-formulations and were designed to test the effect of ArtemiC and its ingredients (consisting of Artemisinin, Vitamin C, Curcumin, Boswellia serrata) on responses of human Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells (PBMCs) to inflammatory stimuli.
“Very pleased" with results
Co-founder and MD Roby Zomer said: “We are very pleased to have achieved these results, which have been completed in line with FDA requirements for COVID-19 studies and provide important data points for our Phase IIb and III trial design and protocols.”
The evaluation was conducted in a model serving the study of the Cytokine Storm Syndrome, a model noted by the FDA to be a good predictor for cytokine storm response and immunotoxicity.
When the production of cytokines is excessive and uncontrolled it is described as a ‘Cytokine Storm’.
This phenomenon occurs due to failure to contain the body’s reaction to stimuli that occur in response to infection.
The severe clinical deterioration due to COVID-19 is attributed to a significant degree to these circumstances of Cytokine Storm and serves a representative example of the fatal consequences that such a failure may entail.
ArtemiC can reduce inflammation risk
The study results indicate that ArtemiC can reduce the risk of inflammation by diminishing the release of the interleukins (IL-1β and IL-6) from PBMCs in response to standard stimulation by exposure to Lipopolysaccharide (LPS).
Interleukins trigger inflammation and modulate the immune response, and Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is an agent that causes the production of cytokines that leads to cytokines storm.
These results are considered particularly important by the Company and its clinical research team as IL-6 has been implicated in the exacerbation of COVID-19 clinical deterioration.
Research data suggests that the combination of the active ingredients of ArtemiC is more potent and does elicit an in-vitro effect on immunological response during a disease.
Further studies underway
Further studies are underway and planned to augment these initial findings to evaluate the preferable ratios between the active ingredients.
MGC is currently awaiting the first interim results from the COVID-19 infected patients from the Phase II randomised, double-blind clinical trial underway in Israel, which are expected to be finalised shortly.