Synairgen shares bounce 30% as SNG001 shown to accelerate COVID-19 recovery

Respiratory drug developers, Synairgen (AIM:SNG), saw their shares rally by almost a third on Friday, as the company reports that its SG016 trial demonstrated the efficacy of its SNG001 treatment in treating patients with COVID-19.

The company posted its recent trial data in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal, which illustrated ‘positive topline results’ from a randomised study of 101 hospitalised COVID-19 patients to either SNG001, Synairgen’s inhaled formulation of interferon beta-1a, or placebo.

Positive data has been reported over time, in July, September, and now in November, in greater detail. The trial was double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled, and sought to test the efficacy and safety of inhaled SNG001 as a therapy for patients hospitalised with COVID-19. Patients received the SNG001 or placebo by inhalation via a mouthpiece once daily for 14 days, with the primary endpoint being the change in clinical condition, using the WHO Ordinal Scale for Clinical Improvement.

Synairgen said that, based on the trial, “SNG001 was shown to be well tolerated and patients who received the drug had greater odds of improvement and recovered more rapidly”. Across the scale of clinical improvement, patients receiving the SNG001 were seen to have greater odds of improvement, and were also more likely to recover to “no limitation of activity” during treatment. Most notably: in the placebo control group, there were three deaths. In the SNG001 sample, there were none.

Speaking on the trial data, company Professor Tom Wilkinson, Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton and Lead Author, said:

“The results confirm our belief that interferon beta, a widely known drug approved for use in its injectable form for other indications, may have the potential as an inhaled drug to restore the lung’s immune response and accelerate recovery from COVID-19. This pH neutral, inhaled interferon beta-1a formulation (SNG001) provides high, local concentrations of the immune protein which boosts lung defences rather than targeting specific viral mechanisms. This might carry additional advantages of treating COVID-19 when it occurs alongside infection by another respiratory virus such as influenza or Respiratory Syncytial Virus that may well be encountered in the winter months.”

Following the announcement, Synairgen shares rallied by between 30% and 35%, up to more than 131p apiece at lunchtime on Friday 13/11/20. Until July, the company’s stock was trading for around half this price, but once the first SNG001 data was published, shares traded for as much as 246p.

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Senior Journalist at the UK Investor Magazine. Also a contributing writer at the Investment Observer, UK Property Journal and UK Startup Magazine. Postgraduate of King's College London with a specialisation in Business Ethics. Interested in Development Economics and David Hume.