MedTech firm Pneumagen has secured a £4m investment for the clinical development of Neumifil, for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.

The investment was led by Thairm Bio with additional investment from the Scottish Investment Bank (SIB). The investment will progress its lead candidate, Neumifil into a clinical trial for COVID-19.

Neumifil is a Carbohydrate Binding Modules (mCBMs), generated using the Company’s GlycoTarge platform.

It is being developed for the universal treatment of respiratory tract infections (RTIs) caused by Influenza Virus and Respiratory Syncytial Virus, and now coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19.

The firm said Neumifil has the potential to revolutionise the treatment of RTIs, providing patients with protection against respiratory pathogens including emerging viruses with pandemic potential.

The investment follows data from pre-clinical studies in COVID-19 using plaque reduction assays. The testing conducted at Public Health England’s (PHE) Porton facility, and from the University of Glasgow’s MRC Centre for Virus Research, demonstrated efficacy in inhibiting SARS-CoV-2 infection. Results from this work were announced on the 28th April 2020.

Douglas Thomson, CEO of Pneumagen, said: “I am delighted that Thairm has chosen to support our ambitious development programme to test the efficacy of Neumifil against COVID-19 in humans, planned in the first half of 2021.

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“The continued support from the Scottish Investment Bank will ensure that this is achieved and will further support Neumifil as a universal drug for RTIs that now includes COVID-19.”

Mark Bamforth at Thairm, said “We are pleased to be able to back the development of Pneumagen’s exciting portfolio in respiratory tract infections. We believe that this approach could provide particular benefit as a protection pan-viral treatment for RTIs including pandemic viruses, such as COVID-19.”

Kerry Sharp, Director, Scottish Investment Bank, said: “Scientists globally are working around the clock to halt the spread of COVID-19. It could take several months or even years for a vaccine to be approved, so the development of effective treatments is crucial.

“The positive results of Pneumagen’s early studies are an encouraging step forward. With our continued support, we hope the company can develop a drug that will help protect people from the current pandemic and any future outbreaks.”