MGC Pharmaceuticals (ASX: MXC) is about to kick-off a phase II clinical trial evaluating a natural anti-infective drug on COVID-19 patients.
Israel’s Nazareth Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee has given the go-ahead for MGC to proceed with a trial to evaluate the safety and efficacy of the natural ArtemiC drug, which is designed to target viral infections with inflammatory complications.
Today’s news follows a binding agreement announced earlier in the week with Micelle Technology, the parent company of Swiss PhamaCan.
One of Micelle’s lead technologies is its MyCell delivery system, which is designed to improve the pharmacokinetics of natural active ingredients such as those found in ArtemiC.
To create ArtemiC, Micelle combined the MyCell delivery technology with artemisinin and curcumin along with vitamin C and boswellia serrata – all known for possessing natural anti-infective properties.
In recent tests using the drug, Micelle has had successful results in patients with infectious diseases and acute illnesses including malaria.
Phase 2 trial
Under the deal, MGC is providing necessary research support to Micelle to create the final ArtemiC product.
“Following our recently announced agreement with Micelle, this approval to proceed immediately with a phase II clinical trial of ArtemiC is a major milestone,” MGC co-founder and managing director Roby Zomer said.
“This trial will evaluate the safety and efficacy of ArtmiC on patients diagnosed with COVID-19 and we look forward to updating the market with developments,” he added.
MGC plans to begin the trial this month, which will comprise 50 COVID-19 patients, with each patient to be treated for 14 days.
It is expected the trial will wind up in September, with results to be available by October.
If the trial is successful, MGC and Micelle will evaluate whether additional clinical programs are necessary.
Then, if the commercialisation stage is reached, MGC will be responsible for the manufacture and packaging of orders at its EU compliant factory in Slovenia.
The market reacted positively to MGC’s news, pushing its share price up 36% to trade at $0.034 by midday.