In a breakthrough in the fight against coronavirus, doctors at a Houston hospital in the United States have found that RLF-100, known as Aviptadil, proved effective on critically ill patients with respiratory failure. As per the Houston hospital, in just three days of dosage, a rapid recovery was seen among patients who were on ventilators or those with major respiratory illness. The drug has jointly been developed by NeuroRx and Relief Therapeutics.
Considering the efficacy of the drug, the US FDA has approved it for "emergency use" at various clinical sites of the country. The drug could now be used even on patients who are too ill to enter the phase 2/3 trial. For example, a 54-year-old coronavirus patient, who was being treated for rejection of a double lung transplant, recovered in just four days after he was administered RFL-100. Similar results were seen in more than 15 patients, researchers found.
The drug improved pneumonitis findings on an X-ray, blood oxygen and reduced lab markers related to COVID-19 inflammation by over 50%, say the companies.
A NeuroRX statement said independent research has found that RFL can block COVID-19's replication in human lung cells and monocytes. "No other antiviral agent has demonstrated rapid recovery from viral infection and demonstrated laboratory inhibition of viral replication," said Prof. Jonathan Javitt, CEO and Chairman of NeuroRx, the maker of RLF.
He said the company is right now conducting placebo-controlled trials to see whether the observations made in the case-control and open-label studies will be confirmed for less ill patients with COVID-19-related respiratory failure.
RFL-100 or Aviptadil's primary function is to block various inflammatory cytokines. A formulation of Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP), Aviptadil is present in high concentrations in the lungs.
With PTI inputs