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Nebulized Interferon Beta-1a Promising for COVID-19

TUESDAY, Nov. 17, 2020 -- Patients hospitalized with COVID-19 who receive inhaled nebulized interferon beta-1a (SNG001) have greater odds of improvement than those receiving placebo, according to a study published online Nov. 12 in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

Phillip D. Monk, Ph.D., from Southampton General Hospital in the United Kingdom, and colleagues conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial to examine the efficacy and safety of SNG001 for patients hospitalized with COVID-19. Adults with a positive test were randomly assigned to receive either SNG001 or placebo by inhalation via a mouthpiece each day for 14 days; 48 and 50 patients, respectively, were included in the intention-to-treat population.

Overall, 66 patients required oxygen supplementation at baseline: 29 and 37 in the placebo and SNG001 groups, respectively. The researchers found that the odds of improvement on the World Health Organization Ordinal Scale for Clinical Improvement (OSCI) on day 15 or 16 were greater for patients receiving SNG001 (odds ratio, 2.32), and they were more likely to receive an OSCI score of 1 during treatment than those receiving placebo (hazard ratio, 2.19). The treatment was well tolerated. The treatment-emergent adverse event reported most frequently was headache (15 and 10 percent in the SNG001 and placebo groups, respectively). Three deaths occurred in the placebo group, while there were none in the SNG001 group.

"These encouraging data provide a strong rationale for larger, international studies in the context of the ongoing clinical burden of COVID-19," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Synairgen Research, which funded the study.

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Posted: November 2020

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