The biotechnology company Apeiron from Vienna has started a study in Austria on the use of a possible drug against the disease covid 19 with the active ingredient APN01. The medicine will be given to 40 healthy study participants by inhalation.
Photo: Shutterstock / Numstocker
It is predicted that in the future patients who are infected or belong to risk groups at an early stage of the disease will be treated in the same way. The study was led by pharmacologist Marcus Zeitlinger of the Medical University of Vienna.
APN01 is a biotechnologically produced angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (rhACE2) developed by Josef Peninger, co-founder of Apeiron, together with his colleagues. The SARS-CoV-2 virus must bind to the soluble enzyme APN01 instead of the ACE2 receptors of human cells that act as a pathway to the pathogen.
The goal is to block the virus and prevent inflammatory processes in the lungs.
In the first phase of the study, participants will receive different doses of the drug through an inhaler. That way, the safety and acceptance of the medicine will be monitored, as well as the maximum dose for application, is stated in the company announcement.
In the US, the second phase of the study on intravenous administration of APN01 was conducted, in which 1,600 people participated.
The administration of the drug by inhalation by the patient could be used in the early stages of the disease.
“This would reduce costs and reduce risk of contact with medical personnel,” said Romana Gugenberger of the company’s research and development board.
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