BetterLife unit gets the nod to conduct coronavirus randomized placebo-controlled trial with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

BetterLife unit gets the nod to conduct coronavirus randomized placebo-controlled trial with Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

BetterLife Pharma Inc announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Altum Pharmaceuticals Inc, and Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile have obtained approval to conduct their planned randomized placebo-controlled trial (IN2COVID) on coronavirus (COVID-19) patients.  The trial, which was approved by Instituto de Salud Publica de Chile, is set to start in early August. It will test BetterLife’s proprietary inhaled interferon alpha-2b (IFN-a2b) product, AP-003.  WATCH: BetterLife Pharma preclinical study showing AP-003 showing similar potency effect on COVID Variants The IN2COVID trial will have a randomized placebo Phase 1 portion in healthy subjects followed by a randomized placebo-controlled Phase 2 portion in early-stage COVID-19 patients. The IFN-a2b treatment arms will receive AP-003, administered via nebulizer, twice daily for 10 days. “We are excited to initiate this trial of AP-003 in COVID-19 patients in collaboration with the Escuela de Medicina (school of medicine) at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile,” CEO Dr Ahmad Doroudian said in a statement. “The team, as well as the trial center, are the leaders in Chile in conducting COVID-19 trials,” he added.  According to Dr Arturo Borzutzky, the principal investigator of the IN2COVID trial, there are several reasons why there is a need for an effective, easy to administer, non-invasive treatment, such as AP-003, for COVID-19. These reasons include: the time it will take to vaccinate the whole population; not knowing the duration of protection afforded by the current vaccines; the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants; and the emergence of possible new coronavirus pandemics in the future. “AP-003, being a Type I interferon, is a broad-acting anti-viral agent, and therefore potentially could be effective in all these scenarios,” Borzutzky added. BetterLife Pharma Inc. is an emerging biotechnology company primarily focused on developing and commercializing two compounds, TD-0148A and TD-010, to treat neurological disorders such as depression, cluster headaches and anxiety. The company also owns a drug candidate for the treatment of viral infections such as COVID-19 and is in the process of seeking strategic alternatives for further development. Contact the author at stephen.gunnion@proactiveinvestors.com