Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) has provided interim data from its NOXCOVID trial that is assessing the company's Veyonda in a cohort of 18 patients with moderately severe COVID- 19 disease.
The company said a major challenge for hospital services during the current pandemic is the high level of care required for those patients experiencing rapid deterioration of lung function, leading to acute respiratory distress syndrome, septic shock and major disabilities or death.
It said the analyses were conducted in the first 18 patients enrolled in the study on blood samples collected on days 1, 3, 7, 14 and 28 of treatment.
"That analysis shows that those biomarkers associated with worsening COVID-19 disease, notably IL-1b, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, TNF-a, CRP and D-dimer, did not rise in any of the 18 patients, including falling in a number of patients.
"While correlation of these responses with clinical data will soon be underway, these interim findings point to a protective effect of Veyonda against disease progression and the development of a cytokine storm," said the company.
Associate Professor Michael Gantier of Hudson Institute of Medical Research, said, “While further correlations with clinical data are essential to gain a full picture, the fact that none of the inflammatory biomarkers progressed in these cohorts of moderately sick COVID-19 patients is aligned with a putative protective effect of Veyonda.”
Graham Kelly, Noxopharm CEO, said, ”The world is facing an enormous challenge in vaccinating enough people to achieve global herd-immunity in the face of waves of emerging mutant strains of the virus. Until we successfully meet that challenge, millions of people are likely to continue to suffer severe COVID-19 disease involving major disabilities and death.
"That is where we see Veyonda playing a key role, with its STING blocking action stopping the inflammatory process in patients with moderate COVID-19 disease moving from having a positive effect, to being seriously self-destructive. The interim data released today points to Veyonda delivering on this promise.
"Treatments that stop patients progressing into needing high-level health care such as mechanical ventilation and occupying ICU beds is a major industry goal. Our confidence is growing that Veyonda will form part of meeting that goal, and in so doing, potentially save many lives and deliver shareholders a potentially highly valuable and much sought after asset.”