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  • Algernon Pharmaceuticals (CSE:AGN) has received regulatory and ethics approval for a Phase 2 drug study of Ifenprodil in South Korea
  • The four-week trial will evaluate the effect of Ifenprodil on patients with severe pneumonia
  • The key success factor will be the rate of improving lung function, determined by measuring blood oxygen levels
  • Ifenprodil was developed to treat circulatory disorders, but may be repurposed to treat COVID-related lung and respiratory distress
  • Algernon Pharmaceuticals (AGN) is up 10 per cent to C$0.50 per share, with a market cap of $35.51 million

Algernon Pharmaceuticals (CSE:AGN) has received regulatory and ethics approval for a Phase 2 drug study of Ifenprodil in South Korea.

The company first lodged its submission to the country’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety on April 9 this year. The company hoped to secure approval for an investigator-led Phase 2 study of the drug, which has now been green-lit.

Dr Dong Sik Jung from the Division of Infectious Disease at Dong-A University Hospital will be the Lead Principal Investigator.

The four-week study will test the effect of Ifenprodil in 40 COVID-19 patients with severe pneumonia. Patients will be randomised on a one-to-one ration, receiving either standard care or standard care with Ifenprodil.

Algernon says that the primary endpoint will be the rate at which the patient’s lung function improves. The trial will be able to determine this by measuring oxygen levels in the blood.

The study will also evaluate secondary endpoints, including mortality, the rate of mechanical ventilation, and anecdotal reports regarding coughing and breathlessness.

Enrollment in the Phase 2 clinical trial is likely to begin on May 8, 2020.

Algernon’s CEO, Christopher J Moreau, said that the first human trial of Ifenprodil is a major step forward in the company’s acute lung injury research program.

“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,” he added.

Ifenprodil was originally developed by Sanofi in the 1970’s for the treatment of circulatory disorders. However, the drug may be repurposed as a remedy for acute lung and respiratory distress associated with COVID-19.

Algernon Pharmaceuticals (AGN) is up 10 per cent to C$0.50 per share at 1:50pm EST.

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