- The IN2COVID trial consists of a placebo-controlled study of both healthy and early-stage COVID-19 patients
- Subjects will receive BetterLife’s IFN-α2b product, AP-003, administered via nebulizer, twice daily for 10 days
- The trial is taking place at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
- A study of 77 COVID-19 patients in Wuhan last year revealed the therapeutic benefits of Interferon-α2b treatment
- BetterLife is a biotechnology company developing interferon-based technologies with the potential to engage the immune system to fight virus infections
- BetterLife Pharma Inc. (BETR) opened trading at C$0.25 per share
The first patient has been enrolled in BetterLife’s (BETR) Interferon alpha-2b COVID-19 trial in Chile.
The IN2COVID trial consists of a randomized placebo Phase 1 portion in healthy subjects followed by a randomized placebo-controlled Phase 2 portion in early-stage COVID-19 patients who will receive BetterLife’s proprietary inhaled IFN-α2b product, AP-003, administered via nebulizer, twice daily for 10 days.
“We are excited to be able to initiate this trial of AP-003 in COVID-19 patients in collaboration with the Escuela de Medicina (School of Medicine) at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile,” said BetterLife’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Ahmad Doroudian.
“The team, as well as the trial center, are the leaders in Chile in conducting COVID-19 trials.”
Dr. Arturo Borzutzky, Study Director of the IN2COVID trial and Associate Professor and Head of Pediatric Immunology, Allergy and Rheumatology at the School of Medicine of Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile said,
“We are pleased to be partnering with Altum to bring AP-003 to COVID-19 patients.” He added, “There are several reasons why there is a need for an effective, easy to administer, non-invasive treatment, such as AP-003, for COVID-19. These reasons include: emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, not knowing the duration of protection afforded by the current vaccines and the reality of breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals.”
Dr. Eleanor Fish, a principal investigator of the trial, commented,
“AP-003, being a Type I interferon, is a broad acting antiviral agent and, therefore, may be effective in all the scenarios described by my colleague Dr. Borzutzky.”
Dr. Fish is the principal author of the exploratory trial published in 2020 in Frontiers of Immunology titled “Interferon-α2b Treatment for COVID-19”, which examined the outcome of treating a cohort of 77 individuals with confirmed COVID-19 admitted to Union Hospital, Wuhan, China, with inhaled interferon-α2b. The study revealed the therapeutic benefits of Interferon-α2b treatment in patients with early COVID-19. The authors concluded that a randomized clinical trial was warranted in moderate cases of COVID-19 and “treatment with IFN-α2β may benefit public health measures aimed at slowing the tide of this pandemic, in that this exploratory study demonstrated that duration of viral shedding was shortened, and lung abnormalities and systemic inflammation were significantly reduced.” The current IN2COVID trial in Chile was designed to test these.
BetterLife Pharma Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company focused on developing next-generation psychedelic products for the treatment of mental disorders. Utilizing drug delivery platform technologies, BetterLife is also refining and developing drug candidates from a broad set of complementary interferon-based technologies which have the potential to engage the immune system to fight virus infections, such as COVID-19 and human papillomavirus.
BetterLife Pharma Inc. (BETR) opened trading at C$0.25 per share.