The UK charity LifeArc has awarded Vicore Pharma approximately £1.5 million for the ATTRACT VP01 (C21) COVID-19 study, allowing the company to accelerate the development program by opening more sites.
“We are grateful for and pleased with LifeArc’s decision to make a significant financial contribution to our phase II trial with VP01 in COVID-19 patients. Our study was prioritized by an expert panel among a large number of applications”, says Carl-Johan Dalsgaard, CEO of Vicore Pharma.
About the study
The study, named ATTRACT (Angiotensin II Type Two Receptor Agonist COVID-19 Trial), is targeting hospitalized patients treated with basic respiratory care, but not yet on mechanical ventilation. These patients have an intense inflammatory drive in the lungs which can lead to acute respiratory failure if it progresses.
The study is a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase II trial in approximately 100 COVID-19 patients. It will, in addition to safety, investigate the efficacy on respiratory failure and functional outcomes. Chief Investigator of the trial is Professor Joanna Porter, University College London.
The ATTRACT study has received full approval in the UK by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), and the Health Research Agency (Ethics Committee) and is now up and running at University College London (UCL). Fortunately, the COVID-19 situation is now improving in the UK. Therefore, Vicore experienced a delay in the study start and hence a process to open additional sites has been initiated to secure recruitment.
”We are incredibly grateful for this charity funding which allows us to broaden the recruitment base, even outside the UK”, says Rohit Batta CMO, Vicore Pharma. “We are fully committed to bringing this medicine to patients in need as swiftly as possible.”
Melanie Lee, CEO of LifeArc commented: “As an independent medical charity with expertise in medical translation, LifeArc could rapidly offer the resources to evaluate proposals and financially support studies with the best chance of improving outcomes in patients with COVID-19. We’re hopeful that this funding will help address the urgent need for new treatment options.”
First in class molecule
VP01 (C21), a first in class orally available low molecular weight angiotensin II receptor type 2 (AT2R) agonist, activates the “protective arm” of the renin angiotensin system (RAS). It is under development for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), pulmonary fibrosis in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and COVID-19.
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