The Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease Foundation, or COPD, has stepped forward to help Ena Respiratory, an Australian clinical-stage pharma company, to develop an antiviral nasal spray targeting chronic lung disease patients. Ena is getting ready to conduct phase 2 tests to see if the nasal spray will prevent COVID-19 as well as influenza.
Ena raised roughly $24 million last summer to fund a phase 1 trial of TLR2/6 agonist INNA-051. It hopes to help people fight viruses like SARS-CoV-2 as well as influenza by upregulating innate immunity in their airway epithelial cells by delivering the molecule to the nose. The COPD Foundation, a non-profit organisation, became aware of INNA-051 for its mechanism of action.
The COPD Foundation’s chief scientific officer, Ruth Tal-Singer, Ph.D., said in a statement that today, more than ever, our patient community studies found an urgent need for treatments that avert flare-ups caused by viral infections. The rapidly acting nasal spray may be given before or immediately after viral exposure to aid the body’s response quickly and lessen the likelihood of consequences. The Foundation will collaborate with Ena to manufacture INNA-051 for its use in people suffering from chronic lung disorders, including COPD. Ena landed the deal after putting its nasal spray through a phase 1 study, with more results expected later this year and also focusing on mid-phase research.
INNA-051 will be tested in a randomised COVID-19 post-exposure antiviral prophylaxis research as well as an influenza challenge pre-exposure prophylaxis study, according to Ena. INNA-051 could reduce the occurrence and severity of infections with a variety of respiratory pathogens since it works by increasing the immune response rather than directly attacking the virus.
From the perspective of COPD, a decrease in the incidence and severity of infections could confront a driver of symptom deterioration, prompting the foundation to lend its network of accredited centres, expertise, and patient researchers to the development of INNA-051.