BioLink Life Sciences has received a contract worth $750,000 from the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to develop Ramatroban for treating Covid-19 pneumonia patients in the hospital setting.

A dual blocker of thromboxane and prostanoid receptors, Ramatroban showed efficacy in animal models of atherosclerosis, respiratory dysfunction, thrombosis and sepsis.

Additionally, the therapy demonstrated initial evidence for quick dyspnea and hypoxemia relief in Covid-19 pneumonia.

Ramatroban will be analysed in a placebo-controlled, randomised Phase II/III RAMBAN-1 clinical trial.

The study will assess the safety and efficacy of 28-day treatment with Ramatroban in expediting recovery in Covid-19 pneumonia patients in the hospital.

The ability of the treatment to lower post-acute sequelae of Covid-19 (long Covid) development risks over the following 11 months will also be evaluated.

To be carried out at several study sites in India, the trial is anticipated to back an emergency use authorisation from regulatory agencies in the country for acute Covid-19.  

The trial will also lay the ground for additional trials for acute and long Covid in the US.

BioLink Life Sciences president Deanna Nelson said: “We are very excited to repurpose a drug that has an established safety record over 20 years of use, is conveniently given twice daily by mouth to both inpatients and outpatients and is highly cost-effective.

“If therapeutic benefits of Ramatroban are demonstrated successfully, the RAMBAN-1 study will serve as a springboard for application of this unique drug to treat both Covid-19 and many similar disease conditions that are characterised by a thromboxane-prostaglandin ‘storm’ and platelet activation leading to thrombo-inflammation in conjunction with a dysregulated immune response.”

For the past two decades, a twice-a-day oral dose of Ramatroban has been approved and used in Japan to treat allergic rhinitis.