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20 July 2020 14:36

Vaccine Coronavirus Moderna

Synairgen shares surge on positive results for Covid-19 trial

Investors piled into Synairgen on Monday morning after the company said its drug helped reduce the risk of developing severe disease in hospitalised Covid-19 patients. The respiratory drug discovery and development company announced positive results from its clinical trial of SNG001, its wholly-owned inhaled formulation of interferon beta. AIM-listed Synairgen, which originated from research at the University of Southampton, said patients who received SNG001 had a 79% lower risk of developing severe disease compared to placebo. Richard Marsden, chief executive 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'." He added that the results 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. A new protein-based coronavirus drug could dramatically reduce the number of patients who need intensive care, according to the preliminary results from a trial.

FTSE-listed Synairgen today said the trial could represent a "major breakthrough" in the fight to find effective coronavirus drug treatments. "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'," Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden said. "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. Professor Tom Wilkinson, the trial's chief investigator, added: "The results confirm our belief that interferon beta, a widely known drug that, by injection, has been approved for use in a number of other indications, has huge potential as an inhaled drug to be able to restore the lung's immune response, enhancing protection, accelerating recovery and countering the impact of SARS-CoV-2 virus." The data from Synairgen's drug, the inhaled formulation of interferon beta known as SNG001, come from a double-blind placebo-controlled trial that recruited 101 patients from nine specialist hospital sites in the U.K. during the peak of the virus's grip on the country from March through May. The data showed those who were given SNG001 had a 79% lower risk of developing severe disease compared to placebo, according to the biotech, with patients who got that drug also more than twice as likely to recover from COVID-19 than those on a dummy med. The early data look like this: The odds of developing severe disease (e.g., requiring ventilation or resulting in death) during the treatment period (day 1 to day 16) were reduced by 79% for patients receiving SNG001 compared to placebo, although the p-value at 0.046 was very, very close to not being statistically significant.

And on a second metric, where SNG001 patients were more than twice as likely to recover (defined by the company as "no limitation of activities" or "no clinical or virological evidence of infection") over the course of the treatment period compared to those receiving placebo, this again was very close to not being significant, with a p-value of 0.043. It also found that patients receiving SNG001 "appeared to be more than twice as likely to have recovered by the end of the treatment period," but again this was not statistically significant, with p=0.062. Interferon beta is produced when host cells get a viral infection; Synairgen uses this protein in an inhaled formulation, which means it passes directly into the lungs of patients with coronavirus using a nebulizer in the hope it will stimulate an immune response. 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. British pharmaceutical company Synairgen has claimed that its new respiratory coronavirus treatment has reduced the number of hospitalized Covid-19 patients needing intensive care in a clinical trial.

The company said its nebulizer treatment produced a 79% lower risk of patients developing severe disease than those given a placebo in initial trials, and patients that received the treatment "were more than twice as likely to recover (defined as 'no limitation of activities' or 'no clinical or virological evidence of infection') over the course of the treatment period compared to those receiving placebo," Synairgen claimed. The drug, SNG001, is a formulation of a naturally-occurring antiviral protein called interferon beta inhaled directly into the lungs, in the hope of stimulating an immune response. "This assessment of SNG001 in Covid-19 patients could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalized Covid-19 patients," said Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden. The trial's chief investigator, Professor Tom Wilkinson, lauded a "momentous coordinated effort" and said the results confirmed researchers' belief that interferon beta has "huge potential as an inhaled drug to be able to restore the lung's immune response, enhancing protection, accelerating recovery and countering the impact." Positive trial results for an experimental Covid-19 medicine "could signal a major breakthrough" in the treatment of the disease, according to micro-cap Synairgen (SNG). The biotech company – a spin-out from the University of Southampton – has been monitoring the effects of 'SNG001', its wholly-owned inhaled formulation of the drug 'interferon beta', in hospitalised coronavirus patients.

Data so far suggests that the odds of developing severe disease, requiring ventilation, were reduced by 79 per cent for those receiving SNG001 compared to those given a placebo product, though the findings are yet to be peer reviewed.