RedHillRedHill Biopharma Ltd. (NSDQ:RDHL) has randomized the last patient in Part A of an ongoing Phase 2/3 study focused on RHB-107 (upamostat), an investigational antiviral.

The Tel Aviv–based company anticipates that RHB-107, a serine protease inhibitor, would be broadly effective against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants.

RedHill Biopharma expects top-line data for Part A of the trial, which intends to evaluate the safety and tolerability and dose selection, to be available in the first quarter of 2022.

The trial is testing once-daily oral RHB-107 for non-hospitalized patients with symptomatic COVID-19.

By contrast, Merck (NYSE:MRK) and Ridgeback Biotherapeutics tested a twice-daily regimen for the COVID-19 antiviral molnupiravir. The companies tested molnupiravir in patients with mild-to-moderate COVID-19.

“Once again, we see a rise in COVID-19 infections in many countries across the world – and the need for effective, simple and safe oral therapies that can be used outside the hospital setting, and that can work across COVID-19 variants, is significant,” said Dr. Terry F. Plasse, medical director at RedHill, in a press release. “Completing randomization for Part A of the RHB-107 Phase 2/3 study is an important step forward for this elegant, once-daily novel oral pill as a potential treatment of COVID-19 in the community.”

The company is also regulatory authorization for another COVID-19 drug candidate known as opaganib.