RedHill Biopharma Ltd. (Nasdaq: RDHL) announced positive results from a Phase 2 U.S. study involving its opaganib in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with pneumonia.
The study indicated that opaganib reduced the need for supplemental oxygen therapy and an earlier hospital discharge. RedHill also concluded that the drug was well-tolerated based on the placebo-controlled Phase 2 study, which involved 40 patients in the U.S.
The experimental drug inhibits sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2), an enzyme that plays a role in inflammation and replication of some viruses. Opaganib thus has dual antiviral and anti-inflammatory modes of action.
A total of 50% of opaganib recipients could breathe without ventilator support within 14 days of treatment compared to 22% of people in the placebo group.
Some 86.4% of patients receiving opaganib were able to leave the hospital within 14 days compared with 55.6% of placebo recipients.
The study anticipates that th…