RedHill Biopharma has presented phase 2 data on opaganib in COVID-19 patients on supplemental oxygen. Opaganib is a novel, orally administered sphingosine kinase 2 (SK2) selective inhibitor. The trial involved 40 subjects and the results concluded that opaganib led to a numerical improvement in the total oxygen requirement. Investigators randomized 40 COVID-19 patients who developed pneumonia and required oxygen to receive opaganib or placebo twice a day for 14 days in addition to standard of care.
The primary endpoint compared to the total oxygen requirements of participants in the two arms throughout the treatment period. RedHill reported a 68% reduction in the median total oxygen requirement of patients on opaganib, as compared to a 46.7% reduction in the placebo cohort. By day 14, 73.7% of patients on opaganib had been discharged, versus 55.6% in the control arm group. RedHill also linked its drug to greater improvements in reaching room air and reduction to 50% supplemental oxygen. RedHill is still reviewing and analyzing data from phase 2 and results from a larger trial are needed to make more concrete conclusions. Recognizing this, RedHill had begun a 270-subject phase 2/3 clinical trial.
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