COVID-19: Active ingredient for treatment in the test - hope for milder courses

COVID-19: Active ingredient for treatment in the test - hope for milder courses

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COVID-19: Active ingredient for the treatment of lung failure is being tested

The corona pandemic is working on strategies to curb the spread of the virus worldwide. Above all, medication is needed quickly, which can be used in particular for difficult courses. Researchers from Austria have now started tests with such an active ingredient.

While the development of vaccines against the new coronavirus is progressing rapidly, it is unlikely that they will be available later this year. Therefore, the hopes are that faster it will be possible to find drugs to treat those already infected. An Austrian research team is now testing an active ingredient that has already been developed.

Agent was developed for the treatment of acute lung failure

According to a current announcement, the Medical University (MedUni) Vienna is testing a possible drug for the treatment of COVID-19 as part of a clinical study.

According to the information, the synthetic peptide was originally developed for the treatment of acute lung failure and is now to be tested for its effectiveness in patients suffering from COVID-19.

Currently, pharmaceuticals that are already approved for another disease or are at least in development are being tested worldwide against coronavirus diseases. Some of these drugs can also cause serious side effects.

Active ingredient is about to be approved

As MedUni Vienna explains, previous clinical data from patients with COVID-19 in the hospital have shown that 20 percent of those affected suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is often characterized by pulmonary edema.

No drug is currently approved specifically for the therapeutic treatment of pulmonary permeability edema or ARDS.

The new active ingredient Solnatide, a synthetic peptide developed by the Viennese company Apeptico GmbH, is already being tested at MedUni Vienna on the first people affected by COVID-19.

"The active ingredient has already proven itself in clinical studies for the treatment of lung failure and is about to be approved," explains Markus Zeitlinger, head of the University Clinic for Clinical Pharmacology at MedUni Vienna and study director.

"We are now testing this on a total of 40 subjects with Covid-19, half of whom are given the medication, the other is assigned to a placebo control group. Our hope is that the lung diseases triggered by the corona virus will show easier courses with the new active ingredient, ”said the expert.

Possible therapy option for severe COVID-19 courses

According to the information, the study was accelerated in close consultation with the ethics committee of the MedUni Vienna and authorities and carried out together with the university clinic for clinical pharmacology at the university clinic for anesthesia, general intensive care medicine and pain therapy.

"We are particularly pleased that the years of preparatory work in this area may offer a therapy option for severe courses of Covid-19," said Klaus Markstaller, head of the university clinic for anesthesia, general intensive care medicine and pain therapy.

The active ingredient Solnatide is a synthetic peptide with less than 20 amino acids. According to the communication, expectations from previous clinical studies are that the solnatide, which is directly introduced into the lower airways in the form of a liquid aerosol, activates the pulmonary sodium ion channel (ENaC) in order to directly activate the clearance of fluid formation in the alveoli and the leakage of blood and Reduce fluids from the capillaries.

This is to reduce the extent of alveolar edema or accelerate its dissolution. In addition to this effect, Solnatide counteracts other complications that are often observed in lung failure.

A phase I clinical trial in humans has already been passed

The drug was originally developed for the therapeutic treatment of patients with acute lung failure and various forms of life-threatening pulmonary permeability edema (PPO).

Orally inhaled Solnatide already existed in a clinical phase I study in humans as well as a clinical proof of concept in a randomized, placebo-controlled double-blind study (clinical phase II study) and also a phase II pilot study in patients with Pneumonia, sepsis, ARDS, primary graft dysfunction and other causes of life-threatening pulmonary dysfunction.

"If the active ingredient is successful, we rely on an accelerated approval process by the regulatory authorities," says Zeitlinger. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • Medical University of Vienna: MedUni Vienna tests active ingredient for the treatment of Covid-19, (accessed: May 3, 2020), Medical University of Vienna

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