As COVID-19 continues to spread, the rush for a treatment or cure continues. Today, on August 4, there are 18.2 million diagnosed cases worldwide, with an associated 692,000 deaths. Of those, 4.8 million cases and 158,000 deaths are from the United States alone. However, we may be closer than ever to finding help. At the end of July, biopharmaceutical company Constant Therapeutics announced a Phase 2 clinical trial to test TXA127 as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
Developed by Constant Therapeutics, TXA127 is a pharmaceutical formulation of human peptide angiotensin-(1-7), which is normally naturally occurring. According to a study in Hypertension, human peptide angiotension-(1-7), or Ang-(1-7) plays a role in cardiovascular health:
Ang-(1-7) produces vasorelaxation [reduction of vascular tension] in the coronary vessels of dogs and pigs. A low concentration of Ang-(1-7) produce[s] a significant reduction of ischemia/reperfusion-induced cardiac arrhythmias in isolated rat hearts.
It also plays a role in lung health. Prior to this study, TXA127 showed efficacy in treating other conditions like Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), Marfan syndrome, and epidermolysis bullosa. Additionally, in studies of animal models, TXA127 improved endothelial and epithelial barriers, reduced fibrosis (scarring), and prevented excess inflammation.
Next, TXA127 will be tested in a double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 clinical trial. The trial, taking place at Columbia University Irving Medical Center, will follow 100 participants with COVID-19 who are not in intensive care. However, all patients will require oxygen. Ultimately, the trial seeks to test whether TXA127 can prevent or reduce renal and respiratory failure.
In the months following the onset of the global pandemic, multiple drug development companies stepped up to try and find a treatment for COVID-19. Constant Therapeutics joined the ranks of those like Gilead Sciences, Regeneron, and Celularity in attempting to create better patient outcomes.