Faron identifies gene mutation to better outcomes for ARDS patients

pharmafile | March 14, 2022 | News story | |   

Faron Pharmaceuticals has announced the publication of research identifying a novel disease association between a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the interferon alpha/beta receptor (IFNAR2) and the outcomes of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and COVID-19 patients treated with corticosteroids.

The research builds on Faron’s initial 2018 findings, from its completed Phase III INTEREST trial, investigating the potential of the Company’s intravenous interferon (IFN) beta-1a therapy, Traumakine, in ARDS patients. The findings from that trial identified that glucocorticosteroids had a harmful effect when administered with intravenous IFN beta-1a therapy. A genetic analysis found that patients receiving Traumakine and carrying a specific SNP (rs9984273) displayed a substantial reduction in mortality compared to patients without the gene mutation.

The results show that administering glucocorticosteroids to ARDS patients receiving IFN-beta1a therapy is not harmful is they carry the mutation. However, in patients that do not carry the mutation, glucocorticosteroid use was associated with high levels of interferon gamma, an indicator of increased inflammation instead of immune suppression, which is associated with poor outcomes in ARDS and COVID-19 patients.

“Endogenous interferon-beta production is one of the body’s main first lines of defense against viral infection and it is widely hypothesized that dosing patients with interferon-based therapies can further strengthen this natural defense if given early enough,” commented Juho Jalkanen, MD, PhD, Chief Operating Officer of Faron, and lead author of the newly published research. “However, our studies have shown that glucocorticosteroids can block this therapeutic effect and may have a potentially negative impact on patient survival.”

“Our research also shows that a relatively common polymorphism, which until now has not been recognised as having any clinical significance, actually plays a critical role in disease states where interferons and glucocorticosteroids have an impact on mortality. These findings will support our continued research into the potential of intravenous interferon beta-1a therapy as a future treatment for ARDS and other acute settings of systemic inflammation leading to capillary leak.”

Lina Adams

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