The US Department of Defense (DOD) has approved the funding of US-based private pharmaceutical firm Humanetics to test its drug candidate BIO 300 in treating pulmonary inflammation triggered by COVID-19.
BIO 300 is Humanetics’ drug candidate which is expected to counteract and relieve not only severe and chronic inflammatory diseases but also radiation toxicities. The progressive pulmonary inflammation brought on by COVID-19 can lead to acute respiratory problems.
Humanetics claims that, when used, BIO 300 can prevent hospitalisations and mitigate progressive and long-term pulmonary effects that can be seen in COVID-19 patients.
The research will be conducted at Battelle (Battelle Memorial Institute), a nonprofit applied science and technology development company in Columbus, Ohio.
The company has significant experience and capabilities in studying infectious diseases. It also has one of the few high-containment facilities in the US to work on highly infectious agents such as the COVID-19 virus SARS-CoV-2.
Presently, BIO 300 is in phase 2 RDBPC clinical trial in patients with acute respiratory disease syndrome caused by COVID-19.
Being funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the trial is being conducted at NYU’s health system in New York. In the study, patients are self-administering the drug at home for 12 weeks after being discharged from the hospital.
The funding from DOD will help to evaluate the efficacy of BIO 300, before or shortly after SARS-CoV-2 infection to control the progressive effects of the disease and prevent serious complications that arise thereof.
Humanetics president and CEO Ronald Zenk said: “We intend to demonstrate that the drug can be used both prophylactically to prevent initial COVID-19 complications and as a therapeutic to mitigate lingering symptoms after hospitalisation.
“In addition to civilian treatment, there is also military relevance for our drug to support warfighter operational readiness and reduce lost duty time.”
As per Humanetics, BIO 300 is in advanced stages of development, to act as a medical countermeasure to protect the body from harmful ionizing radiation. It was first discovered by researchers at DOD while creating radio-protective drugs for the military.
Humanetics further expanded its applications into cancer radiation therapy. The company recently completed a trial in lung cancer patients who developed pulmonary injury arising from radiation treatments.
Last July, Humanetics secured financing from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to test its BIO 300 drug in Covid-19 patients.