Synairgen shares soar as drug shows lower risk of severe COVID-19 cases

Synairgen Plc said on Monday its drug helped reduce the risk of severe cases in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, according to data from a trial of more than 100 people in the United Kingdom, sending its shares skyrocketing.

Adds details on the trial, shares

July 20 (Reuters) - Synairgen Plc SYNG.L said on Monday its drug helped reduce the risk of severe cases in hospitalised patients with COVID-19, according to data from a trial of more than 100 people in the United Kingdom, sending its shares skyrocketing.

The trial, which used interferon beta, showed that patients who were given Synairgen's formulation had a 79% lower risk of developing severe forms of the disease compared to placebo.

Patients who received the drug, SNG001, were more than twice as likely to recover from COVID-19 as those on placebo, the company said.

Shares of the company nearly tripled to 97.50 pence, up from a Friday close of 36.50 pence.

The company said that no deaths were reported in patients treated with SNG001, while three people died after being randomised to placebo.

The measure of breathlessness was also markedly reduced in patients who received the drug, Synairgen added.

Interferon beta is a naturally occurring protein, which regulates the body's antiviral responses.

(Reporting by Aakash Jagadeesh Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr)

((Aakash.B@thomsonreuters.com; Twitter: @JagadeeshAakash))

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