Virios Therapeutics has dosed the first subject in the exploratory long Covid clinical trial of combination antiviral therapy, IMC-2 (valacyclovir plus celecoxib).

The trial will evaluate the safety of IMC-2 for treating the symptoms linked to long Covid such as fatigue, disruption of sleep, pain, depression, anxiety, cognitive function, and overall improvement in health.

For conducting the trial, the company has offered an unlimited investigational grant to Bateman Horne Center (BHC).

An interdisciplinary Center of Excellence, BHC is progressing therapies for fibromyalgia (FM), myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS), post-viral syndromes, and associated comorbidities.

A new dual mechanism antiviral therapy, IMC-2 merges valacyclovir and celecoxib to together hinder the herpes virus from activating and replicating, to reduce the disease burden.

A second development candidate of the company, this antiviral therapy is being developed to potentially manage fatigue, sleep, attention, pain, autonomic function, and anxiety linked to long Covid.

Virios Therapeutics chairman and CEO Greg Duncan said: “The dosing of the first patient in this exploratory trial marks an important milestone for Virios, as we develop new combination antiviral therapies to improve care standards for patients suffering from virally mediated diseases.

“Virios has unique potential to create significant value in meeting the medical need for a new treatment that could help the estimated 100 million people worldwide who are suffering from long Covid symptoms.”

The company noted that the latest long Covid research programme complements Phase IIb clinical research programme for FM treatment.

Apart from IMC-2, Virios has another development candidate, IMC-1. It is a fixed dose combination of famciclovir and celecoxib, which are created to synergistically hinder herpes virus replication.

IMC-1 is presently being analysed in a randomised, multicentre, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial named FORTRESS.