SYDNEY–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise in most countries, Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm is pleased to announce treatment of the first patient with its lead pipeline candidate, Veyonda®, in the Company’s Phase 1 NOXCOVID-1 study.
NOXCOVID-1 is looking at treating those COVID-19 patients hospitalized with moderate lung dysfunction requiring low oxygen support who are at risk of progressing rapidly into requiring intensive care and mechanical ventilation. This rapid progression increasingly is being seen as an inappropriately strong inflammatory reaction known as a cytokine storm by the body’s immune system in response to lung damage caused by the virus.
The experimental anti-cancer drug, Veyonda®, joins a number of approved and experimental drugs with an anti-inflammatory action being tested globally for their ability to block rapid progression of COVID-19 disease from moderate to severe level.
The distinction of the NOXCOVID-1 study in this global effort is that it offers a unique opportunity to test an emerging theory that the so-called STING signalling pathway is a key trigger of the cytokine storm syndrome. Recent research conducted by Hudson Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne (Australia) has shown that part of the anti-cancer effect of Veyonda® is an anti-inflammatory effect stemming from potent inhibition of the STING signalling pathway.
“It’s a testament to the skill of our scientific team and our external research collaborators that we have been able to identify the potential application of Veyonda® in the treatment of COVID-19 and have been able to use our prior oncology-focused work to address this new and urgent global need,” said Noxopharm’s Chief Medical Officer Gisela Mautner. “It is our hope that Veyonda® will lessen the severity of COVID-19 and improve the recovery of affected patients worldwide.’’
The NOXCOVID-1 trial will enroll up to approximately 40 patients, with enrollment due to be completed before the end of the year.
Noxopharm Limited (ASX:NOX) is an Australian clinical-stage drug development company focused on treating cancer with Veyonda®, its lead drug candidate. Noxopharm also has an active R&D program for additional drug candidates and is the major shareholder of U.S. biotechnology company Nyrada Inc. (ASX:NYR).