Synairgen PLC (LON:SNG) has said the first patient has been dosed with its inhaled formulation of interferon beta-1a as part of its global phase III trial in people hospitalised coronavirus (COVID-19).
The respiratory drug discovery and development company said dosing with SNG001 had so far only taken place in the UK with work expected to get underway in the US and EU shortly.
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.
In the UK, Synairgen’s clinical assessment is deemed an urgent public health study, while it also has US Food & Drug Administration fast-track status.
The company is seeking “further equivalent prioritisations and support” from governments in participating countries, investors were told.
In s statement, Synairgen chief executive, Richard Marsden, said: "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."