Opaganib inhibits new coronavirus in preclinical studies


Redhill Biopharma Ltd. today announced preliminary results of a new preclinical study showing that opaganib is effective against a related novel coronavirus variant.

Opaganib is a leading new investigational oral pill for the treatment of COVID-19 and is a unique host-targeted dual antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent that acts on both the causes and effects of COVID-19. The drug works by selectively inhibiting sphingosine kinase-2 (SK2), a key enzyme produced in human cells and absorbed by the virus to support its replication. Following the recent submission of positive U.S. Phase 2 study data, the global Phase 2/3 study of Opaganib in 475 patients hospitalized with Novel Coronavirus has fully completed enrollment and is expected to be completed in the next few weeks.

In collaboration with the Center for Predictive Medicine at the University of Louisville, opaganib was studied in a 3D human bronchial cortical cell (Epioriginal ™) tissue model to evaluate its efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2 variants of β (South Africa) and γ (Brazil) in vitro. Preliminary results showed that opaganib effectively inhibited β and γ variants at noncytotoxic doses.