SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company reported promising results Thursday from a clinical trial of COVID-19 treatment conducted in collaboration with Renmin Hospital in Wuhan, China.
Ansun Biopharma said preliminary data showed that DAS181, a drug with antiviral properties, may have contributed to the reduction and elimination of COVID-19 symptoms in four patients suffering from severe bilateral viral pneumonia and hypoxemia.
The patients were given a 10-day treatment regimen of nebulized DAS181, according to Ansun.
"These results are highly encouraging, as they demonstrate that DAS181 may potentially help reduce or eliminate some of the most significant symptoms associated with COVID-19," said Dr. Zuojiong Gong and De. Ke Hu, the study's principal investigators at Renmin Hospital.
"In the first 14 days of our study, the first two patients no longer required supplemental oxygen, and showed stabilized vital signs, increased oxygen saturation, and resolution of infiltrates on chest CT scans. The third patient, who had been a persistent SARS-CoV-2 carrier for more than 33 days, was completely virus-free before the end of the 10-day DAS181 regimen and met all discharge criteria, and the fourth is currently undergoing treatment and showing positive trends."
Ansun is slated to conduct a two-stage trial of the drug in the United States, with an initial enrollment of around 20 patients at various U.S. medical centers. The study will be conducted to determine DAS181's safety and efficacy in treating severe COVID-19 pneumonia, according to the company.
Ansun CEO Dr. Nancy Chung said, "We are excited about the preliminary data generated by our partners at Wuhan University, and we believe this is an important step towards determining the potential clinical utility of DAS181 at this critical time. Unlike other therapeutic approaches, DAS181 may inhibit the virus through multiple potential mechanisms of action including modifications of the host receptor, interference with endocytosis, prevention of cell-to-cell spread and immunomodulation."
Currently, there are no approved treatments available to patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 inducted pneumonia.