Synairgen has announced that it is considering development of its SNG001 inhaled interferon beta for the treatment of COPD. SNG001 was previously in development for the prevention of exacerbations caused by viral lung infections in asthma patients.
In 2012, the company announced positive results from a Phase 2 study demonstrating that SNG001 produced statistically significant improvement in symptom reduction, the use of reliever inhalers, and lung function compared to placebo in asthma patients suffering from a cold.
In 2014, AstraZeneca licensed SNG001 for the treatment of viral respiratory tract infections in severe asthma patients; however, AstraZeneca halted the Phase 2a INEXAS trial after an unexpectedly low rate of severe exacerbations brought the trial design into question.
Synairgen now says that “the unexpectedly low exacerbation rate (<10%) in the INEXAS trial population suggests that the economic viability of the drug in an asthma indication would be limited.”
According to the company, recent data and diagnostic improvements now make COPD “a very attractive market” that could be targeted more accurately than in the past, and it plans to initiate a short trial of SNG001 later this year or in early 2018.
Synairgen CEO Richard Marsden commented, “We have long been conscious that COPD is the key target market for a broad spectrum antiviral such as SNG001. Until recently, the difficulties of patient selection and the associated cost of the required trials made it prohibitively expensive to pursue. The fact that high viral exacerbation rates are now evident, combined with the launch of an effective diagnostic for viral infections, means that a COPD program is now both highly attractive and economically viable.”
Read the Synairgen press release.