Relief Therapeutics and its partner NeuroRx have initiated dosing of its Phase IIb/III trial of RLF-100 for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in Covid-19 patients who are on mechanical ventilation.

RLF-100 is a synthetic human vasoactive intestinal polypeptide (VIP). In animal models, VIP has been shown to inhibit inflammatory cytokines and protect pulmonary epithelial cells in the lungs.

Principal study investigator at the University of Miami, Dushyantha T Jayaweera commented: “ARDS is the primary cause of COVID-19 related deaths triggered by acute inflammation in the air sacs (alveolae) of the lungs.

“There is an urgent need for a treatment that can specifically protect type 2 alveolar cells and suppress excessive inflammation.”