Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSEAMERICAN:PTN) has announced plans to tap into PL8177’s potential to combat some of the lung complications caused by COVID-19.
Researchers have discovered that the coronavirus causes hypoxemic respiratory failure in patients that contract the virus whether or not they suffer from respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Scientists at Palatin Technologies want to establish whether PL8177 can counteract hypoxemic respiratory failure in COVID-19 patients.
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This decision was also supported by pre-clinical findings from multiple models evaluating inflammatory diseases. The models revealed that PL8177 has the potential to protect lung tissue, ease inflammation, and reduce the chances of lung fibrosis. PL8177 is a Melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1r) agonist that is highly potent and one that has already shown significant efficacy in reducing lung tissue damage and combatting inflammatory diseases.
“We are excited about PL8177’s potential to be part of the solution to this unprecedented global public health crisis,” stated Carl Spana, the CEO of Palatin Technologies.
He also added that the key advantage to PL8177 is that it has already demonstrated the capacity to ease the inflammation that has been associated with COVID-19 patients. The CEO also added that addressing the inflammation is important because it usually stands in patient recovery by compromising lung function.
Palatin has already submitted the necessary data to support a phase 2 trial
Palatin has already submitted an initial proposal to the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to investigate PL8177’s as a potential treatment. The company also submitted a pre-IND to the FDA’s Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care (DPACC).
The biopharma is currently preparing for a Phase 2 clinical trial of PL8177, which the company plans to kick off in Q4 2020. It already conducted a Phase 1 study, and the results were sufficient enough to warrant the advancement of the treatment to a Phase 2 study, as well as its further clinical development.
Dr. Spana stated that Phase 2 clinical study has an adaptive design that is expected to deliver an early verdict on PL8177’s effectiveness. The clinical study will also help to pave the way for any modifications that will allow patients to derive more benefits from the treatment.