Synairgen, a drug development company that spun out of the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, has announced positive results of a phase 2 clinical trial of its asthma drug SNG001.

The trial investigated the potential for SNG001 to protect asthmatic patients from respiratory virus infections that can spread to the lungs and worsen symptoms.

The trial took place at 20 sites and included 134 adult asthma patients with mild to moderate through severe symptoms, who caught a cold. Patients with difficult-to-treat asthma—about one half of trial participants—saw significant benefit from SNG001. Such patients represent between 10% and 20% of adult asthma sufferers.

Results of the trial showed that the drug prevented asthma symptoms from getting worse during the first week of infection and treatment. There was a 65% reduction in the number of patients experiencing moderate exacerbations during the treatment period, and patients who were treated with placebo had greater loss in lung function—measured by morning peak expiratory flow rate.

Professor Stephen Holgate, CBE, an asthma specialist at the university and founder of Synairgen, reports that this was the first clinical study that appeared to demonstrate that by boosting the antiviral defenses of the lungs of asthmatics, the adverse effects of viral infection can be significantly limited—preventing exacerbations in high risk patients.

Source: University of Southampton