With fresh data from existing trials treating COVID-19 patients in Italy and Israel, a Triangle drugmaker has announced a deal with the federal government to explore another drug as a treatment for U.S. patients.
Raleigh’s RedHill (Nasdaq: RDHL) has entered into an agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) – part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) – to use its drug for non-clinical tests to treat COVID-19.
The drug, RHB-107, is believed to be able to inhibit viral attachment and replication, as well as decreasing lung damage from viral pneumonia. The drug, which is being developed by the company, has been in 10 clinical studies already and was selected for in-vitro testing by the NIAID following an evaluation of its data.
The latest news comes days after RedHill announced it has submitted an Investigational New Drug application (IND) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its other drug – opaganib – following discussions with the agency.
Opaganib was given special approval from both Israeli and Italian regulatory bodies earlier this month, and has produced some preliminary evidence that it is improving outcomes for moderate to severe patents with COVID-19.
“We are moving quickly to advance the clinical development of opaganib for COVID-19 and in parallel to expand access to opaganib for patients under compassionate use to help address the global pandemic caused by SARS-CoV-2,” Dr. Mark Levitt, the company’s medical director, previously said. “We are encouraged by the preliminary findings from the first patients treated with opaganib under compassionate use indicating objective clinical improvement and look forward to collaborating closely with FDA to validate the effectiveness of opaganib in treating COVID-19 in a controlled clinical setting.”
Now with a second drug under investigation, investors seem to be encouraged by the company’s position in the outbreak. At the close of trading Monday, RedHill stock was up nearly 13 percent and trading around $7.16 per share.
The company started this year focused on the commercial launch of its newly approved asset, Talicia – right after it secured a $115 million loan and acquired a new drug.
With the global pandemic pushing regulators and medical providers to find effective therapeutics in the battle against COVID-19, RedHill says it is “preparing for a potential ramp-up of manufacturing of opaganib” if continued success leads to a spike in demand.
Original Article Source: Triangle Business Journal