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A Swiss biotech firm developing a Covid treatment has seen its share price soar
A Swiss biotech firm developing a Covid treatment has seen its share price soar 38,000% this year
  • Relief Therapeutics Chairman Ram Selvaraju told CNBC that Relief Therapeutics and NeuroRx had been in contact with the HSS’ Operation Warp Speed, and expects topline data from its late-stage trial of RLF-100 in January.
  • Relief Therapeutics had a market cap of less than 100 million Swiss francs ($113 million) at the end of July, and on August 10 following promising results from the first 21 patients treated with RLF-100 under FDA Expanded Access Protocol authorization, it had surpassed 1.6 billion Swiss francs.
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LONDON — Swiss biotech firm Relief Therapeutics has seen its share price climb by 38,000% so far this year, as it develops a drug focused on respiratory failure arising from severe Covid-19.

Last week, the company, along with U.S. partner NeuroRx, met the 165 patient enrollment target agreed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in their ongoing phase 2b/3 trial of RLF-100, which is a patented version of aviptadil.

Aviptadil is a synthetic formulation of a naturally occurring peptide called Vasoactive Intestinal Polypeptide (VIP), which is primarily concentrated in the lungs and works to reset the immune system response along with serving as a vasodilator and boosting the production of surfactant in the lungs, which enables blood oxygen transfer.

RLF-100 has been around since 2000, when it was developed to treat acute respiratory distress and other lung conditions and subsequently acquired by Biogen. Earlier this year, Relief scientists discovered that it could protect the cell that is attacked by the Covid-19 virus.

Speaking to CNBC via telephone from New York, Relief Therapeutics Chairman Ram Selvaraju said the ongoing trial is expected to provide topline data in the first half of January, and attributed the meteoric rise in the company’s share price in part to its evidence of efficacy in “otherwise untreatable patients.”

“Where other people have focused primarily on mildly infected or moderately infected people, we have fastidiously tried to see whether our drug can bring benefits to the critically ill and the end-stage folks,” he explained.

Early stage results from expanded access use of RLF-100 in patients suffering with critical Covid-19 and severe comorbidities showed 72% of those admitted into the ICU surviving.

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