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New treatment for Covid-19: Synairgen's drug shows promise in COVID-19 cases

11:34 | 21/07/2020

Synairgen (SYNG.L) share rose almost sixfold on Monday after the drugmaker said its medicine can reduce the risk of severe cases in hospitalized patients with Covid-19. However, some experts have warned about too much optimism in the market.

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new treatment for covid 19 synairgens drug shows promise in covid 19 cases
Coronavirus (Photo: FierceBiotech)

A study of Synairgen's formulation of interferon beta, SNG001, showed that patients who enjoyed the treatment experienced a 79% lower risk of developing severe forms of the disease caused by the coronavirus, compared to those on a placebo, according to Reuters.

Data from the trial showed that patients who received the drug were also more than twice as likely to recover from Covid-19.

This assessment of SNG001 in COVID-19 patients could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients,” Synairgen Chief Executive Richard Marsden said.

After this finding, the shares of Synairgen hit a record high of 218 pence, putting its market cap at about 326 million pounds ($412 million) compared to 54.5 million pounds on Friday.

new treatment for covid 19 synairgens drug shows promise in covid 19 cases
The study attracted more than 100 participants from nine hospitals in Britain (Photo: Arabian Business)

The study also found the measure of breathlessness was markedly reduced in patients who received SNG001 compared to those receiving placebo (where p=0.007), and while three subjects (6%) died after being randomized to placebo, there were no deaths in the SNG001 group.

In the patients with more severe disease at time of admission (i.e. requiring treatment with supplemental oxygen), SNG001 treatment increased the likelihood of hospital discharge during the study, but the difference was not statistically significant, where p=0.096.

The median time to discharge was six days for patients treated with SNG001 and nine days for those receiving placebo.

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 statiscally significant, with p=0.062.

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. In addition, SNG001 has significantly reduced breathlessness, one of the main symptoms of severe COVID-19. This assessment of SNG001 in COVID-19 patients could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Our efforts are now focused on working with the regulators and other key groups to progress this potential COVID-19 treatment as rapidly as possible", reported by Globe Newswire.

new treatment for covid 19 synairgens drug shows promise in covid 19 cases
Shares in the biotech soared 300% in early U.K. trading Monday (Photo: Yahoo)

But according to the scientists, more data is needed to fully support the benefits of the drug, a form of naturally occurring protein which regulates the body's antiviral responses.

There are reasons to believe it could well be an effective treatment, but these results, while encouraging, should not be taken to mean that the treatment is so dramatic that everyone should be given it,” said Stephen Evans, professor of pharmacoepidemiology at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

In addition, SNG001 has significantly reduced breathlessness, one of the main symptoms of severe COVID-19. This assessment of SNG001 in COVID-19 patients could signal a major breakthrough in the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients. Our efforts are now focused on working with the regulators and other key groups to progress this potential COVID-19 treatment as rapidly as possible.”

The study attracted more than 100 participants from nine hospitals in Britain. Patients were evenly matched on average age, and average duration of Covid-19 symtoms before the enrolment.

Shares in the biotech soared 300% in early U.K. trading Monday morning on the news, informed Fierce Biotech.

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