Clinical Data Shows Noxopharm’s Veyonda May Prevent Cytokine Storm
Australian clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm Limited recently announced that in a cohort of 18 patients with moderately severe cases of COVID-19, interim data in its NOXCOVID study suggests Veyonda provides protection against progression of the severe inflammation associated with a worsening of the disease.
“Until enough people are vaccinated to achieve global herd immunity in the face of waves of emerging mutant strains of the virus, millions of people are likely to continue to suffer severe COVID-19 disease involving major disabilities and death,” said Noxopharm CEO Graham Kelly. “That is where we see Veyonda playing a key role, with its STING blocking action stopping the destructive inflammatory process in patients with moderate COVID-19. The interim data released today points to Veyonda delivering on this promise.”
The 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. A key factor associated with disease worsening is the excessive production of inflammatory factors normally invoked to facilitate tissue repair and combat infection in a process known as the cytokine storm.
Biomarker data from the top Veyonda dose cohort is expected within the next few weeks. That will be followed by a review of the final clinical data on completion of treatment of the final patient. Clinical status (WHO COVID-19 grade, comorbidities) and other therapies will be considered, and after reviewing all the data, the company will then consult with government, regulatory, medical, and business development advisors.
Noxopharm Limited is an Australian clinical-stage drug development company focused on the treatment of cancer and septic shock. Veyonda is the company’s first pipeline drug candidate currently in Phase 2 clinical trialing. Veyonda has two main drug actions – a moderating effect on the ceramide/sphingosine-1-phosphate balance and inhibition of STING signaling. Activity against the former target contributes to its dual-acting oncotoxic and immuno-oncology functions designed to enhance the effectiveness and safety of standard oncology treatments, ie, chemotherapies, radiotherapy, and immune checkpoint inhibitors. Activity against the latter target provides an anti-inflammatory effect, also contributing to an anti-cancer action, but also potentially blocking septic shock.
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