Norway-based biopharmaceutical firm BerGenBio has started dosing participants in the Phase II ACCORD clinical trial of bemcentinib to treat hospitalised Covid-19 patients.

Supported by the UK Government, ACCORD is a single clinical trial platform intended to assess drug candidates in early stage trials and advance them into the country’s large-scale Covid-19 studies.

Bemcentinib is the first candidate selected for assessment as part of the study.

The first patient in the trial has been dosed with bemcentinib at the University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust. In addition, the trial is open for another seven sites across the UK.

ACCORD clinical academic lead professor Tom Wilkinson said: “The ACCORD platform is allowing us to rapidly test potential new treatments in response to the Covid-19 emergency.

“We believe this programme will be key to developing effective new treatments and are delighted to see the first candidate, bemcentinib, enter the clinic today.”

Designed to enrol a total of 120 patients, the study will evaluate the safety and efficacy of bemcentinib as an add‑on therapy to standard of care (SoC). Of the total participants, 60 will receive the drug, while the remaining 60 will be given SoC.

BerGenBio expects top-line results from the trial in the coming months. In case of positive data, the drug will advance into the large-scale Phase III trials in the UK.

BerGenBio CEO Richard Godfrey said: “We are delighted that dosing has commenced with bemcentinib in the ground-breaking ACCORD study and we hope that patients will swiftly start to see benefits.

“Initiating this clinical trial in such short order is the result of tremendous teamwork between my colleagues at BerGenBio and the teams at IQVIA and UHS, among many others.”

The company is also studying bemcentinib in a Phase II oncology clinical development programme.