Many people with severe COVID-19 infection experience a build-up of fluid in the lungs, making it hard to breathe and, in the worst cases, contributing to the death of the patient. The body’s own immune response is partly responsible for this build-up of fluid.
There are signs that the generic drug imatinib, which is used to treat certain cancers including some forms of leukaemia, could address the problem. The goal of Impentri is to carry out clinical trials to get solid data on its efficacy and safety as a treatment for COVID-19 patients with a build-up of fluid on the lungs.
The project will run a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind clinical trial involving 100 patients in intensive care. All patients will be monitored for oxygen levels, fluid balance, length of stay and other clinical outcomes.
The project has already received scientific advice from the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the treatment of acute respiratory distress syndrome. The EMA has also granted orphan drug status.