Innovation Pharmaceuticals has reported that its drug candidate, Brilacidin, showed broad-spectrum antiviral activity against Covid-19 in an in vitro study.

A non-peptidic defensin-mimetic drug, Brilacidin is presently being analysed in a clinical trial for the treatment of Covid-19 under fast track status from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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The latest data is based on the study carried out by researchers at the George Mason University (GMU)/National Center for Biodefense and Infectious Diseases in the US.

As per the research, Brilacidin showed the ability to hinder the SARS-CoV-2 virus in various human cell lines, including Caco-2, which is primary lung fibroblasts.

The drug candidate also hindered alphaviruses such as Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, Eastern equine encephalitis virus and Rift Valley fever virus, a bunyavirus.

Innovation noted that the results support potent broad-spectrum antiviral activity exerted by Brilacidin using its ability to interrupt viral integrity and stop viral entry.

Brilacidin primary Investigator at GMU Aarthi Narayanan said: “Brilacidin continues to show a consistent ability in the laboratory to inhibit different contagious viruses, regardless of viral strain and in a cell type-independent manner.

“Our scientific team looks forward to exploring Brilacidin further as we investigate the breadth of its antiviral profile.”

In March, a machine learning model used to analyse 1,482 compounds detected Brilacidin among the top 3% that can potentially be most effective against SARS-CoV-2, based on its molecular properties.

Brilacidin is undergoing a randomised, blinded, placebo-controlled Phase II study in 120 hospitalised patients with moderate-to-severe Covid-19.

The trial with a parallel-group design is evaluating the efficacy and safety of the drug candidate in these subjects.

Innovation Pharmaceuticals CEO Leo Ehrlich said: “The Covid-19 pandemic, with infections, hospitalisations and deaths once again spiking, is a stark reminder that the world is in need of effective broad-spectrum antiviral countermeasures that can be readily deployed to help mitigate viral outbreaks.

“Our Phase II Brilacidin clinical trial in hospitalised Covid-19 patients was fully enrolled.”