A trial of medtech Noxopharm's (ASX: NOX) COVID-19 treatment has advanced to the fifth and final stage today, encouraging optimism amongst the company's investors.
Shares in the Sydney-based company were up nearly 3 per cent this morning after Noxopharm's independent safety committee cleared a trial of its drug Veyonda for the treatment of COVID-19 complications to move to the next stage.
As such, a final cohort of COVID-19 infected recipients in the US will receive a dosage of Veyonda, an experimental anti-cancer drug.
"The company regards this as a highly encouraging outcome given the advanced nature of COVID-19 disease in these study patients, in particular suffering serious lung dysfunction," says Noxopharm.
The listed medtech will be reporting formally on the efficacy of Veyonda in due course, with the overall objective being to use the drug to block the cytokine release syndrome (or the so-called 'cytokine storm') that leads to COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care.
This 'cytokine storm' is a primary cause of the multi-organ damage responsible for most of the long-term disability and death in COVID-19 patients.
"Patients we are treating are at the stage of COVID-19 disease generally associated with high rates of deteriorating lung function requiring intensive care," Noxopharm CEO Dr Graham Kelly said.
"While early days, the progress of the trial is serving to boost our confidence that Veyonda is capable of meeting its primary objective of blocking the cytokine release syndrome causing that rapid deterioration, and doing so in a well-tolerated and minimally-intrusive way.
"Noxopharm sees a commitment to the NOXCOVID trial as adding considerable commercial value to Veyonda, apart from obvious humanitarian reasons."
Noxopharm announced plans in April to trial the drug's effect on COVID-19 sufferers. The move had an electric effect on the company's share price, which was languishing at 11 cents.
Since that initial announcement shares have skyrocketed more than 400 per cent, and are up 1.92 per cent to $0.53 per share at 11.59am AEDT today.
Business News Australia
Get our daily business news
Sign up to our free email news updates.