London | drug christened SNG001 would reduce by 79% the risk of developing a severe form of the COVID-19, according to preliminary results announced Monday by the laboratory in the uk that the product, Synairgen.
This treatment inhaled use of beta-interferons, a natural protein that mediates the response of the body against the virus.
The study conducted by the university of Southampton on 101 patients concluded that patients treated with this drug were 79% less likely than those who were given a placebo to develop severe forms of the disease — that is to say, requiring a respirator, or life-threatening. Patients treated with the SNG001 have more than two times more likely to heal compared with those who received a placebo.
Three patients (6%) treated with placebo died, while no deaths are to be deplored among those who have been treated with the SNG001.
The study was conducted on a relatively small sample of patients and has not been subject to evaluation by a reading committee, but it could revolutionize the way in which the COVID-19 is processed. According to the managing director of Synairgen Richard Marsden, it could be a “major step forward”.
“The results confirm our belief that the interferon-beta – [ … ] presents a huge potential as an inhalation therapy to restore the immune response of the lungs, by improving the protection, accelerating the recovery and counteracting the impact of the virus SARS-CoV-2”, said in a news release on the Pr Tom Wilkinson, professor of respiratory medicine at the university of Southampton, who led the trial.
Professor Stephen Holgate, co-founder of Synairgen, stressed that the treatment “restores the ability of the lungs to neutralize the virus or any mutation of the virus or co-infection with another respiratory virus, such as influenza or RSV (a respiratory virus common, editor’s NOTE), as might occur in the winter in case of a resurgence of the COVID-19”.
Until then, only a drug, dexamethasone, has proved that it could save patients the COVID-19. Another treatment, the antiviral remdésivir, allows to reduce the duration of hospitalization, but not mortality.