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Algernon Pharmaceuticals poised for Phase 2 trial in South Korea for potential coronavirus treatment

Proactive Investors Thursday, 23 April 2020
Algernon Pharmaceuticals Inc (CSE:AGN) (OTCQB:AGNPF) said enrollment of first patients in a Phase 2 clinical trial for a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment was expected to begin on May 8 this year in South Korea. The pharma company said it had received the green light from the ministry of food and drug safety in South Korea, as well as ethics approval, for the study of the re-purposed drug NP-120 (Ifenprodil). READ: Algernon Pharmaceuticals asks Health Canada for multinational clinical trial using Ifenprodil as coronavirus therapy "This first human trial of Ifenprodil in COVID-19 patients is a major step forward with our new acute lung injury clinical research program,” Christopher J. Moreau, the chief executive at Algernon said in a statement. "Positive Phase 2 data would be an important milestone as we continue to investigate Ifenprodil’s therapeutic potential as a treatment for COVID-19, in addition to advancing our idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and chronic cough program.” The 40-patient, four-week trial, is designed to test the effect of the drug on patients with severe pneumonia. The primary endpoint will be the rate at which lung function improves by measuring oxygen levels in the blood. Secondary endpoints include mortality, rate of mechanical ventilation, and patient reported effects on cough and breathlessness (dyspnea). Vancouver-based Algernon believes Ifenprodil can reduce the infiltration of neutrophils and T-cells into the lungs where they can release glutamate and cytokines respectively. The latter can result in the so-called cytokine storm that contributes to the loss of lung function and ultimately death as has been reported in COVID-19 patients. However, the firm cautioned that while it was preparing to begin the clinical trial in South Korea, it is "not making any express or implied claims that NP-120 (Ifenprodil) is an effective treatment for acute lung injury (ALI), the COVID-19 virus, or any other medical condition at this time". Algernon has filed new intellectual property rights globally for NP-120 (Ifenprodil) to treat respiratory diseases and is working to develop a proprietary injectable and slow release formulation. There are over 2.6 million cases of COVID-19 worldwide, and 183,820 reported deaths. Contact the author at [email protected]
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