Preliminary data shows that the ILC Therapeutics’ rIFN alpha14 may have significant potential to prevent COVID-19 induced Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). In vitro the molecule enhances NK cell activity while reducing Neutrophil activation and chemotaxis.
ILC Therapeutics are actively exploring partnering and funding opportunities to take this drug candidate into Phase 2a trials in early 2021.
'We believe we can effectively boost patients’ NK cells which will allow these patients’ immune system to recover control of this disease more effectively, and at an earlier stage than current treatments. Interferon-Alpha14 (IFN-A14) has already been shown to act very successfully against viruses of the COVID family.' - Prof. Bill Stimson, Chief Scientific Officer
'At ILC we were already developing this molecule to treat other inflammatory diseases, but now it is evident that it could be re-purposed as a potential ARDS therapeutic. We are urgently exploring public and private sector funding to allow us to deliver this potential therapy to patients globally as soon as possible.' - Dr. Magnus Nicolson, Chairman
Increased IL-17a is found in patients with ARDS and associated with poor outcomes. rIFN-alpha 14 significantly reduces IL-17a.
IL-6 is associated with ARDS and a predictive factor of poor prognosis. rIFN-alpha 14 significantly reduces IL-6.
Neutrophil ingress to the pulmonary tissue can cause damage to the pulmonary epithelia and oedema. rIFN-alpha 14 significantly reduces neutrophil attractants.
rIFN-alpha 14 increases expression of both interferon gamma and CCL-5, which are required to recruit NK and Tc cells to eliminate virally infected cells.
M2 or alternatively activated macrophages are associated with healing and tissue repair. rIFN-alpha 14 increases expression of CCL-2, which polarises macrophages towards an M2 phenotype.