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NIHR supports COVID-19 trial looking to reduce symptoms and upregulate lung antiviral defences

Published: 19 March 2020

A team of scientists at the University of Southampton have announced a trial of an inhaled drug that may help people reduce the symptoms of COVID-19. This trial is being supported by the NIHR through its Respiratory Translational Research Collaboration (R-TRC). 

The SNG001 study is a collaboration between the University of Southampton, University Hospital Southampton, and the drug development company Synairgen PLC. The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) and Health Research Authority (HRA) have approved the trial which is looking at the benefit of an inhaled formulation of interferon-beta-1a in COVID-19 patients to potentially assist in reducing symptoms.

The trial is being led by Professor Tom Wilkinson, a consultant in respiratory medicine at University Hospital Southampton and professor of respiratory medicine at the University of Southampton, will initially involve 100 patients at Southampton and up to 10 other NHS hospitals taking part.

Phase II clinical trials in asthmatic patients have previously shown that SNG001 is well tolerated, enhances the lungs' antiviral defences and improves lung function during cold or flu infection. The trial is due to begin next week.

The NIHR Respiratory-TRC brings together ten leading centres in respiratory medicine across the UK and is ideally placed to help support rapid research into potential treatments for COVID-19. The R-TRC’s internationally recognised experts are working together to accelerate the development of new treatments for a range of respiratory conditions.

Since its formation, the R-TRC has initiated, carried out and supported a wide range of research into respiratory illness. The R-TRC is currently in the process of supporting a variety of early stage studies and trials which relate to COVID-19, including those of diagnostic tests and drugs for relieving symptoms of the virus. 

For more information read the press release about the study on the Globe News Wire.

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