Synairgen's primary focus is the development of its investigational inhaled interferon beta product SNG001 to meet the urgent need for the treatment of severe viral lung infections, including COVID-19, as potentially the first host-directed, broad-spectrum respiratory antiviral treatment delivered directly into the lungs.
Pre-clinical research conducted by Synairgen of IFN-β (at concentrations readily achievable following inhaled delivery of SNG001) shows the inhibition of a broad range of viruses in cell-based assays including:
Based on the potent antiviral activity of SNG001 in vitro, Synairgen began investigating the safety and efficacy of SNG001 as a broad-spectrum antiviral in specific patient populations including those with asthma and COPD.
IFN-β-driven antiviral responses have been shown to be compromised in certain populations including older people (Agrawal 2013) and those with chronic airways diseases (Wark et al 2005; Singanayagam et al 2019), putting these groups at high risk of developing severe lower respiratory tract illness which can be fatal. In addition, viruses (such as SARS-CoV-2) have evolved mechanisms to suppress IFN-β production and signalling, helping them to evade the innate immune system (Yuen et al 2020; Zhang et al 2020), allowing viral spread.