The study will assess the drug’s potential to treat people with a progressive lung disease called COPD that also have confirmed common cold and influenza virus infections.
These exacerbations, as they are called, pose significant health risks, particularly in the winter virus season.
Chief executive Richard Marsden said the company is “successfully capturing marked changes” in patients with COPD that also have the aforementioned viruses.
15 centres up and running
In all 15 centres are up and running for the trial, which will take in the 2019/20 “virus season” with participants screened specifically to assess whether they have cold or flu.
The test ensures that only people for whom the IFN-beta therapy may be effective are dosed, thereby increasing the chance of success.
"Aided by the rapid point-of-care test, the trial is successfully capturing marked changes in COPD symptoms in patients with confirmed common cold and influenza virus infections,” said CEO Marsden.
“We have previously shown that inhaled IFN-beta boosts the lungs' antiviral defences in COPD patients and the magnitude of the symptom changes being observed so far in the current trial puts us in a good position to determine the potential benefit of inhaled IFN-beta in this patient population."
The shares rose 6.3% to 11p.
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