Theravance's Janus kinase inhibitor enters phase I for ARDS

By The Science Advisory Board staff writers

April 23, 2020 -- Biopharmaceutical company Theravance Biopharma has begun a phase I study in the U.K. for a drug to help prevent the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) related to COVID-19.

Through the study, healthy volunteers will receive a dose of TD-0903, a lung-selective, nebulized Janus kinase inhibitor. The company is looking at the inhibitor as a way to treat patients hospitalized with acute lung injury due to the novel coronavirus. The molecule was developed for broad inhibition of the Janus kinase/signal transducer and activator of transcription (JAK-STAT) signaling pathway, the principal pathway for cytokines and growth factors, and therefore has the potential to prevent a cytokine storm during lung injury.

Phase I of the study will look at the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of various doses of TD-0903. If the study moves forward, phase II will evaluate the same regimen in patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the U.K.

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