Special Report: Amid a strong run of positive news flow, DMX shares have climbed more than 500 per cent since the start of April.

Biotech company Dimerix (ASX:DMX) has won federal government funding to clinically evaluate the effectiveness of its proprietary DMX-200 treatment against symptoms of COVID-19.

The $1m grant will support the company’s inclusion in the REMAP-CAP study – a global initiative to test treatments for “Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome associated with COVID-19”, the company said.


Cross-over opportunity

In addition to the COVID-19 opportunity, DMX-200 has the potential to be the first ever treatment for FSGS (focal segmental glomerulosclerosis) – an advanced kidney disease that affects both adults and children as young as 2 years old.

Shares in the company surged in late-June after a phase-two trial met the required endpoints around both safety and efficacy.

The drug has orphan status in both the US and Europe for FSGS, which allows for fast-tracked regulatory approval and opens the company up to a multi-billion-dollar market opportunity.

But importantly, a key aspect of the drug’s use-case is targeted towards “reducing damage from inflammatory immune cells, by blocking their signalling and limiting subsequent movement”, Dimerix said.

Patients suffering from acute symptoms of COVID-19 often face severe lung incapacitation, which is a direct by-product of their body’s immune response.

“Global experts see DMX-200 as a compelling treatment option to limit inflammation in the lungs during infection of the SARS-CoV2 virus,” Dimerix said.


Global effort

REMAP-CAP is an international study endorsed by the World Health Organisation, to help fast-track evidence-based treatments as part of the global fight against coronavirus.

The study is coordinated by the Australian and New Zealand Intensive Care Research Centre, as part of a global collaborative effort comprising 30 partner organisations and 240 sites across 16 countries, with more than 7,000 patients enrolled.

Monash University professor Steve Webb, chair of the REMAP-CAP International Trial Steering Committee, said he was pleased to support the ongoing development of the DMX-200 treatment.

“By utilising an adaptive design rather than using a traditional trial approach, we are more likely to get to answers faster, while keeping our patients as safe as possible,” Webb said.

“REMAP-CAP is an optimal study to identify potential treatments for COVID-19 as safely, quickly, and effectively as possible.”

Along with the COVID-19 study, Dimerix is staying busy with plenty of irons in the fire – as would be expected for one of the most exciting biotech success stories on the ASX.

The company is currently awaiting Phase-2 study results for its diabetic kidney disease treatment, which have an expected data read-out in the first few weeks of September.

In addition, it’s now undertaking planning towards a global phase-three program for its market-leading FSGS treatment, as it targets a global sales opportunity which just in the US alone could be worth more than $US6bn ($8.2bn).

This article was developed in collaboration with Dimerix, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.