Synairgen plc is to collaborate on a University of Southampton study on acute respiratory viral infection and recovery in hospital patients.
The UNIVERSAL (Understanding Infection, Viral Exacerbation and Respiratory Symptoms at Admission-Longitudinal) trial is an observational study being led by the Clinical Trials Unit of the University of Southampton in the U.K. to explore and better understand the varied nature of acute respiratory viral infection and recovery seen in patients admitted to hospital with respiratory symptoms.
The company is developing SNG001, an investigational formulation for inhalation containing the broad-spectrum antiviral protein interferon beta.
The UNIVERSAL trial seeks to develop a prospective longitudinal clinical database of respiratory viral infections in hospitalized patients. This will help with the development of potential antivirals to treat severe viral lung infections caused by seasonal viruses and emerging viral threats.
Patients admitted to hospital due to a range of different respiratory viruses will be sampled to determine the clinical and biological predictors of progression of disease, recovery and length of hospital stay. As an observational study, no treatments are being investigated.
The trial, which aims to recruit 1,000 patients, will be initiated at 10 sites across the U.K. following enrolment of its first patient which occurred on September 1, 2022. Viral testing equipment already owned by Synairgen and nursing staff at the Southampton clinical trial site are being provided by Synairgen, with funding for the trial provided by Janssen.
Understanding viral illness
Richard Marsden, CEO of Synairgen, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the important link between research and clinical care and its impact on the timely development of much-needed antivirals for severe lung viral infections caused by seasonal viruses and emerging respiratory viral threats.
“Our collaboration on the UNIVERSAL trial will help provide a better understanding of what could predict clinical outcomes in patients hospitalised with respiratory symptoms due to infection with a range of respiratory viruses. The UNIVERSAL trial will help to further inform the development programme of SNG001, our investigational broad-spectrum antiviral.”
Tom Wilkinson, lead investigator of the UNIVERSAL trial and Professor of Respiratory Medicine at the University of Southampton, added: “As seen over the course of the pandemic, individual response to respiratory virus infection is variable from patient to patient, ranging from mild symptoms requiring no treatment to severe illness requiring higher levels of care.
“This observation highlights the need for a study like UNIVERSAL to better understand this patient journey to enable for the development of effective therapeutics for respiratory viral illness beyond COVID.”