A new coronavirus treatment involving atomisers can deliver aerosols directly to the lungs of infected COVID-19 patients, a major breakthrough that could become a “game-changer” treatment,media BGR reported. Patients who inhaled interferon beta from the Synairgen nebulizer were significantly less likely to develop complications and shortness of breath in clinical trials. They are also more likely to leave the hospital earlier than patients who received other treatments.
British company Synairgen has placed a protein called interferon beta in a nebulizer that turns it into an aerosol. In a placebo-controlled trial, 101 COVID-19 patients in several hospitals used inhalers and did not know whether they had been given the SNG001 test drug or whether they had received a placebo. Another 120 volunteers will be treated in a family setting during The Phase 2 trial.
Anyone who has been following the development of COVID-19 in recent months should be familiar with interferon. It is a protein produced by the human body to fight infection and a drug for other medical conditions. A study in May showed that viruses inhibit interferon cells, which can slow replication of the virus, and researchers concluded that interferon-based therapies can play a role in COVID-19.
In its large-scale Solidarity trial, the World Health Organization (WHO) combined interferon beta with litonavir/lopinavir. Reported that around the same time, some doctors in Wuhan treated patients with interferon alpha-2b. Researchers from Hong Kong, China, published the results of a phase 2 study in May that claimed interferon beta-1b, litonevir/lopinavir and libavirin could be used together to eliminate the virus and speed recovery. In the same month, researchers at Stanford University began recruiting volunteers for the interferpegon lambda-1a study.
Researchers at Synairgen say inhaling interferon beta aerosols directly into a patient’s lungs reduces the risk of complications in PATIENTs with COVID-19 by 79 percent. According to the BBC, the company said patients who received interferon were two to three times more likely to return to the disease without affecting their daily activities. The study also showed a “very significant” reduction in breathing difficulties in patients receiving treatment. Finally, the average length of hospital stay decreased by one third, from nine to six days.
Scientists believe it could be more effective if the drug is administered in the early stages of infection. “We can’t expect better results than these,” Synairgen chief executive Richard Marsden told the BBC. These results, he said, are “a major breakthrough in the treatment of Covid-19 inpatients.”
The BBC noted reports that the results had not been published in a peer-reviewed journal, so the results could not be confirmed.