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RedHill Biopharma’s SK2 inhibitor shows promise against coronavirus

Opaganib demonstrate potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro test

RedHill Biopharma has announced that its experimental sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2) opaganib demonstrated potent inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 in an in vitro clinical test.

According to the company, the potential first-in-class treatment was able to achieve complete blockage of viral replication in an in vitro model of human lung bronchial tissues.

Opaganib possesses both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral activity, by targeting a host cell component unaffected by viral mutation, which minimises the likelihood of resistance.

RedHill is currently evaluating the SK2 inhibitor in global phase 2/3 and US phase 2 clinical studies for the treatment of severe COVID-19-associated pneumonia.

According to the company, opaganib demonstrated the most potent activity against SARS-CoV-2 compared to all compounds tested in the same study, including the positive control, Gilead’s remdesivir.

“Opaganib’s previously demonstrated anti-inflammatory activity, combined with our now proven specific anti-SARS-CoV-2 viral activity, provides a unique dual mechanism of action with the potential to greatly benefit COVID-19 patients by inhibiting the key drivers of disease progression - viral replication and lung inflammation,” said Mark Levitt, medical director at RedHill.

“This compelling data, using a physiologically relevant human respiratory tissue model, demonstrates opaganib’s potential to strongly inhibit SARS-CoV-2 viral replication, validating the hypotheses underlying our ongoing global phase 2/3 and US phase 2 clinical studies and further supporting their rationale,” he added.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

9th September 2020

From: Research

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