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Start-up from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital doses first patient with novel COVID-19 treatment

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: September 8th, 2021

A start-up from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital has begun testing its novel treatment for lung disease among patients severely impacted by COVID-19.

Airway Therapeutics has developed an engineered protein, known as AT-100, that reduces inflammation and infection in the body. In COVID-19 patients, the start-up says AT-100 has the potential to reduce injuries resulting from being ventilated; help prevent secondary infection; inhibit viral replication; and promote viral elimination in severely ill, ventilated COVID-19 patients.

Airway dosed its first patient with AT-100 in August as part of a phase 1b trial to determine the safety and tolerability of the treatment. According to the start-up, the patient is much improved and has been extubated since the protein was administered. Airway plans to enroll eight other patients in the trial.

“There is an immediate and urgent need for viable treatments that deliver improved patient outcomes, particularly in patients with severe disease,” says Duncan Hite, head of the trial and professor at the University of Cincinnati.

“Given the dual potential for AT-100 to directly impact viral clearance and reduce lung inflammation, we are hopeful it proves to be an additional treatment option for patients at highest risk for prolonged hospital stays and death,” Hite says.

Launched in 2011, Airway had initially developed AT-100 for the prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants. When the pandemic hit, the start-up realized the protein’s anti-inflammatory and anti-infective properties made it potentially effective against COVID-19.

“The expectation is COVID will not dissipate anytime soon,” says Airway CEO Marc Salzberg. “We’re happy we might have something that could help.”

Source: Cincy Inno

Posted under: Tech Transfer e-News

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