The investigational drug brilacidin showed promise in a recent study published in the peer-reviewed journal Viruses.
Researchers conclude that the synthetic small molecule from Innovation Pharmaceuticals exhibited “potent antiviral activity.”
The scientists tested the drug in a human lung cell line and a monkey cell line.
The researchers tested brilacidin against COVID-19 variants from Washington and Italy. The manufacturer plans to test the drug’s antiviral effect with other variants.
Because the antimicrobial compound brilacidin works by disrupting viral integrity, it could be effective against so-called SARS-CoV-2 “variants of concern.” The manufacturer also believes the drug has potential in fighting secondary bacterial infections while also serving as an anti-inflammatory agent.
The drug was based on host defense peptides that are part of the immune system.
The company is also evaluating brilacidin in an international Phase 2 trial involving hospitalized COVID-19 patients.
The drug has been tested in eight other human trials for different clinical indications.
Innovation Pharmaceuticals was formerly known as Cellceutix.