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Experimental Lung Drug to be tested on UK Coronavirus Patients



UK biotech firm known as Synairgen is to put trial its experimental lung drug on Covid-19 patient, seeking the global race to find a treatment for the virus.

The company got the green light from the UK regulators  asking them to conduct a trial of its lead drug SNG001 at NHS trusts across the country.
This drug, SNG001 has been in development as a treatment for chronic-obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), which is a severe lung disease, but this has been paused to conduct testing on 100 patients diagnosed with the current virus.

The medicine is designed to boost the immune system of the patient’s and to help them fight off the virus. It contains interferon beta (IFN-beta), this is a naturally occurring protein which orchestrates the body’s antiviral responses.
 This was identified in the WHO's Landscape analysis of therapeutics on 17th  February 2020 as the only Phase 2/Phase 3/Observational therapy delivered by the inhaled route.
In the trial, which will start next week, some of the patients will be given the drug and others a placebo. The research was led by the University of Southampton, and the University Hospital Southampton will be the lead center during the trial.

Tom Wilkinson, who is a professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Southampton and the trial’s chief investigator, said,
“If the test goes well, the drug could be generally made available for Covid-19 patients before the end of the year.”

Prof Stephen Holgate, one of the three Southampton University professors who is the founder of Synairgen in the year 2004, said:

 “In the absence of a suitable vaccine, increasing the host’s own immunity to enhance protection and virus elimination would seem a logical therapeutic approach.”

The most promising treatments being  trialled elsewhere are the US drugmaker AbbVie’s Kaletra, which is a combination of two anti-HIV drugs, and the US drug firm Gilead’s remdesivir, which was previously used though failed in Ebola patients in west Africa in 2013 and 2016.

Many Chinese doctors are as well trying chloroquine, which is an antimalarial drug, which is cheap and readily available because it is no longer under obvious.


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