News that MGC Pharmaceuticals’ (ASX:MXC) phytocannabinoid-derived medical spray could be an effective treatment for COVID-19 sent the stock up almost 41 per cent on Friday morning.

Tests conducted by the company at MyPlant Bio in Israel found a combination of the medical spray’s ingredients demonstrated an enhanced effect on human immune function in a “manner considered desirable in the treatment of COVID-19”.

Results of the research study suggest the medical spray can reduce the risk of inflammation by diminishing the release of interleukins — cell molecules that assist in cell communication.

Interleukins trigger inflammation and modulate the immune response.

“These immunology results provide very important background information for our clinical research as we continue to plan and develop our phase 2b and phase 3 studies,” co-founder and managing director Roby Zomer said.

The study was a pre-clinical in-vitro immunological evaluation of cell formulations designed to test the effect of MGC Pharma’s medical spray on human blood cells to inflammatory stimuli.

Today’s results pushed shares to an intra-day high of 3.1c.

MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX:MXC) share price chart


Beneficial impact on cytokine storm

The research findings support a clinical study hypothesis that MGC’s medical spray can have a beneficial impact on the malignant ‘cytokine storm’ that plays a role in the clinical deterioration of patients affected by the CoV-SARS-2 virus.

The results suggest that the medical spray reduces the secretion of Interleukin-2 from stimulated T-Cells, which is a driving force in the immune response.

High levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines are in direct correlation with disease severity.

The focus of the pre-clinical program was to demonstrate the safety, toxicity and mechanism of action of the medical spray as a drug to treat COVID-19.

The clinical evaluation was conducted in a model serving the study of the Cytokine Storm Syndrome, a model noted by the US Food and Drug Administration as a good predictor for cytokine storm response and immunotoxicity.

A ‘Cytokine Storm’ results from the failure to contain the body’s reaction to stimuli that occur in response to infection.

The severe clinical deterioration due to COVID-19 is attributed to a significant degree to these circumstances of Cytokine Storm.

Further studies are planned by the company to evaluate the preferable ratios between the product’s active ingredients.