Drug developer Noxopharm is following up on indications that an experimental anti-cancer drug may be effective against the Covid-19 coronavirus.
Melbourne’s Hudson Institute of Medical Research has identified anti-inflammatory properties of the experimental drug idronoxil, the active ingredient in the company’s anti-cancer drug candidate Veyonda.
Pre-clinical models indicate the drug has the ability to treat patients with early-stage organ failure, reducing the need for intensive care.
Noxopharm said in a statement that idronoxil inhibited an abnormally excessive inflammatory response known as cytokine storm believed to be responsible for the death of some virus sufferers.
The company now proposes to evaluate the drug use in patients at risk of developing acute respiratory distress syndrome and multi-organ failure.
Noxopharm has applied for provisional patent protection for its development and will seek partners to conduct further research.
This will also investigate whether the new approach to using the drug can be a treatment for septic shock generally.
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