Dimerix drug chosen for global COVID-19 study, shares surge 122pc
Health & Biotech
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Special Report: Dimerix’s key drug has been selected for a global trial looking at COVID-19 treatments.
Biotech Dimerix’s (ASX: DXB) key drug candidate will be used in a global program aimed at treating patients who have Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) as a result of COVID-19.
The stock surged to a high of 60c after the news broke, an intraday spike of 122 per cent.
The news comes just as Dimerix is due to release Phase 2 clinical trial results into diabetic kidney disease and a phase 2a study looking at the rare kidney disease focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS).
The same drug used in those studies, DMX-200, is the one selected for inclusion in the global Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia (REMAP-CAP) program by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
DMX-200 works against kidney diseases by reducing inflammation damage, which promotes the progression of chronic kidney disease.
It does this by blocking the “signalling” process by which inflammatory cells damage the kidney, including by limiting the onset of fibrosis, or permanent scarring.
The relevance of this to COVID-19 is that one of the hallmarks of severe cases of COVID-19 is ARDS, which manifests as a rapid, widespread inflammation of the lungs that can lead to respiratory failure and death.
Based on the known effects in the lung of COVID-19, it is possible that DMX-200 may also benefit ARDS patients with COVID-19 by reducing the inflammatory response in the lungs, thereby reducing inflammation and subsequent scarring.
“We are extremely pleased to be in a position to support this global initiative investigating the potential of multiple therapies to treat COVID-19 patients dying of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS),” said Dimerix chief Dr Nina Webster.
“Dimerix is uniquely positioned to support the global effort in identifying COVID-19 treatments, as well as having two Phase 2 kidney clinical studies due for completion in mid-2020.”
The study has been designated as a Pandemic Special Study.
REMAP-CAP is an international platform trial run by a network of leading experts, institutions, and research groups. They’re studying a number of interventions to treat people hospitalized with COVID19.
The overall REMAP-CAP study plans to include more than 7,000 patients from over 200 study sites across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America.
It already has treatments in the anti-viral, immune-modulation and immunoglobulin sphere and Dimerix is part of a new treatment group.