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German biopharmaceutical firm InflaRx has enrolled and dosed the first patient in a clinical study of IFX-1 in Covid-19 patients with severe pneumonia in the Netherlands.

IFX-1 is a monoclonal anti-human complement factor C5a antibody designed to inhibit the biological activity of C5a. The drug is not believed to impact the formation of the membrane attack complex (C5b-9).

According to preclinical data, IFX-1 showed ability to control the inflammatory response-related tissue and organ damage via a selective blockade of C5a in the adaptive, randomised, controlled trial.

The drug was found to be well tolerated in around 300 clinical trial participants, according to the company.

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IFX-1 is currently in development to treat inflammatory conditions such as hidradenitis suppurativa, ANCA-associated vasculitis, and pyoderma gangraenosum.

InflaRx is now exploring the use of IFX-1 as a potential treatment for Covid-19 (coronavirus).

The company obtained preliminary positive data from two initial Covid-19 patients with severe pneumonia. These patients were given BDB-001, an anti-C5a antibody produced by the company’s licensee Beijing Defengrei Biotechnology in China.

Data from Beijing Defengrei Biotechnology is said to indicate the potential of C5a in Covid-19.

InflaRx said in a statement: “Based on the company’s existing pre-clinical research on the role of C5a in viral-induced pneumonia and the initial results from the BDB study, InflaRx has decided to initiate a clinical development programme with IFX-1 in Covid-19 patients with severely progressed pneumonia.”

The company obtained regulatory approval to start a trial in the Netherlands. The first patient has been recruited at the Amsterdam University Medical Centers.

The company also plans to initiate additional sites in Germany and other European countries.

InflaRx is tracking the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on its ongoing clinical programmes. While the existing sites are active, they may have paused or will temporarily stop the screening of new patients.