US Department of Defense selects Faron for $6.1m COVID-19 research funding

pharmafile | January 18, 2021 | News story | Sales and Marketing Faron Pharmaceuticals, US 

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has selected Faron Pharmaceuticals’ HIBISCUS study to receive $6.1 million of funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The Phase II/III HIBISCUS trial will assess Traumakine, Faron’s IV IFN beta-1a, for the treatment of hospitalised COVID-19 patients in the US.

Faron is a Finnish clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel treatments for medical conditions with significant unmet needs, and currently has a pipeline based on the receptors involved in regulation of immune response in oncology and organ damage.

The funding support for HIBISCUS requires final contracting between Faron and DoD’s designated military unit, the 59th Medical Wing of the US Air Force, and is under preparation. The company has already established a working relationship with the 59th Medical Wing and US Army Institute of Surgical Research, exploring the use of Traumakine for organ protection in combat wounds leading to multi-organ failure from ischemia and reperfusion.

Traumakine also continues to be investigated in the ongoing global REMAP-CAP (Randomised, Embedded, Multifactorial Adaptive Platform Trial for Community-Acquired Pneumonia) trial, which is evaluating potential treatments for community-acquired pneumonia including in COVID-19 patients, and is currently ongoing across more than 200 sites and 19 countries.

Dr Markku Jalkanen, Faron’s CEO, said: “IFN beta-1a has previously demonstrated a compelling argument as the body’s first line of defence against viral infection. Deficiency of either IFN beta or the activation of its receptor (IFNAR) have been associated with severe COVID-19 and poor outcome.

“This validation from the DoD represents important progress for both our science and intravenous IFN beta as a potential treatment for severe COVID-19 patients. We look forward to working with the DoD, 59th Medical Wing of the Air Force, University of Colorado Medical School Anschutz Campus and Harvard to fight COVID-19 and protect central organs.”

Darcy Jimenez

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