Excalibur Healthcare Services said a ‘major milestone’ had been passed in an advanced clinical trial of a new therapy that could treat people with diabetes suffering from COVID-19.
The trial of a glucose kinase activator (AZD1656) that could help diabetes sufferers infected with coronavirus by dampening the overactive response of the immune system has been conducted at 28 hospital sites across the UK, Czech Republic and Romania since September 2020
The trial, which involved patients with mild to moderate COVID-19 symptoms, has now been completed. Data has been collected and a major milestone – database lock – has now been achieved. That means the data can be analysed securely and the final report is expected early September.
The therapeutic has potential use, if successful, in several potential areas of acute care. Additionally, the compound could ultimately be prescribed by a GP for people with diabetes presenting with early COVID-19 symptoms to halt the progression of the virus.
Another area investigated during the trial is the possible up-regulation of T-reg cell migration which it is thought potentially may promote long term immunity, beyond the normal life of a vaccine.
The research project was arranged and structured by Professor Sir Chris Evans, Chairman and CEO of Excalibur Healthcare Services, through its subsidiary, Excalibur Medicines Ltd. Sir Chris worked closely with Professor John Martin and his team at St George Street, a UK-based biomedical research charity, which secured the initial project and permission to run the trial from AstraZeneca.
Professor Evans said: “This drug has the potential to make a real difference to people with diabetes who contract coronavirus. The completion of the trial is a very significant moment, we look forward to seeing the results from the data collected. The trial completion enables us to progress commercialisation plans.”
David Tapolczay, CEO St George Street, said: “We are delighted to have completed data collection for ARCADIA and have now achieved the major milestone of database lock. We would like to thank all our hospital sites for helping complete the data set during this busy time and to our patients who agreed to participate in the trial.”
People living with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with COVID-19. One in three of all deaths with COVID-19 in hospitals in England have been associated with diabetes.