Special Report: A second international team of researchers have selected Dimerix’s lead drug candidate DMX-200 for inclusion into a study into potential treatments for COVID-19.

Professor Meg Jardine of the University of Sydney and her colleagues running the Controlled evaLuation of Angiotensin Receptor Blockers for COVID 19 respiraTorY disease (CLARITY) will evaluate DMX-200 in patients intended for hospital admission.

About 600 participants in India who have tested positive for COVID-19 will be enrolled in the randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study, known as CLARITY 2.0.

“The SARS-CoV-2 virus downregulates and suppresses certain anti-inflammatory effects and that may tip the local lung environment towards inflammation and fibrosis and might be why the virus has such a devastating effect on lung tissue,” Jardine said.

“We generally see that people with chronic health conditions that include inflammatory drivers, such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and obesity, are also those who are more vulnerable to respiratory complications if they contract the SARS-CoV2 virus.

“Some of those inflammatory drivers interact with the blood pressure system which is why some common blood pressure medications may improve outcomes in COVID-19 disease.

“Early results suggest that DMX-200 may have stronger anti-inflammatory effects when used in combination with these blood pressure medications. The CLARITY and CLARITY 2.0 studies are designed to answer whether these blood pressure medications, used alone or in combination with DMX-200, may alter the course of COVID-19 disease and provide a better outcome for patients.”

Dimerix awarded $1m to include DMX-200 in REMAP-CAP study in COVID-19 patients

This is the second investigator-led study in patients with COVID-19 in recent months to include DMX-200, a chemokine receptor (CCR2) blocker which Dimerix has also been developing as a potential treatment for the rare kidney disease known as FSGS and for diabetic kidney disease, both of which reported positive Phase 2 clinical data earlier this year.

Dimerix was awarded $1 million from the Australian government’s Biomedical Translation Bridge program to include DMX-200 in the global REMAP-CAP study, which is evaluating potential treatments in over 7,000 patients at over 260 sites across 16 countries around the globe.

Dr Nina Webster, chief executive and managing director of Dimerix, says the company is pleased to support a second research study in COVID-19 patients.

“The threat of COVID-19 outbreaks is likely to remain with us for some time,” she said.

“Dimerix recognised and appreciates the support and collaboration of India within the expanse of research into SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. If DMX-200 in combination with an ARB (angiotensin receptor blocker) is proven effective for the treatment of COVID-19, and is approved for an indication within this setting, Dimerix is committed to an upscale of opportunity for treatment, including a fair and ethical supply within India in line with industry standards.”

Opportunity for Dimerix

The investigator-led trials also present a further opportunity for Dimerix to realise value for shareholders by unlocking the potential of DMX-200.

If the drug candidate does work to lessen the severity and symptoms of COVID-19, it could also work as a potential treatment in other respiratory infections such as influenza – providing an opportunity that could extend well beyond the impact of the pandemic.

Dimerix is also preparing for its Phase 3 study of DMX-200 in FSGS patients, assessing the next steps for diabetic kidney disease and developing its DMX-700 drug candidate in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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.