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Faculty of Medicine to lead drug trial into treatment of COVID-19

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Southampton researchers are trialling an inhaled drug that could prevent worsening of COVID19 in those most at risk.

The trial, led by Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicince in the Faculty of Medicine and a consultant in respiratory medicine at University Hospital Southampton, will involve 100 patients at Southampton and up to ten other NHS hospitals taking part.

Those patients will receive the best current COVID19 care, whilst inhaling either a placebo or SNG001, a special formulation of the naturally occurring antiviral protein interferon beta 1a (IFN-β), for 14 days.

The trial will be undertaken with Synairgen, a drug development company founded by University of Southampton Professors Stephen Holgate, Donna Davies and Ratko Djukanovic.

Professor Wilkinson said, “COVID19 cis presenting a major challenge to vulnerable patients, the health service and wider society whilst a vaccine will be key, that could some time away. Right now we need effective frontline treatments to give doctors the tools to treat the most vulnerable and  to help patients recover quickly as the pressure on health systems mounts."

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Source: University of Southampton, 18 March 2020

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