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Peptide FX06 identified in Vienna could save the lives of COVID-19 patients

X-ray of a lung before and after treatment with FX 06 © www.thelancet.com

This also applies to a peptide (FX06) identified at the Vienna University Dermatological Clinic in the year 2000, which is now to be tested on severely ill COVID-19 patients. FX06 could alleviate life-threatening lung complications. Individual treatment trials in hospitals and a clinical trial in Austria and Germany with the biotech substance, which was also used in Ebola patients in 2014, are to follow.

"Acute lung failure, sepsis and septic shock are among the life-threatening complications of COVID-19 disease. These effects must be combated," says Thomas Steiner, CEO of the Vienna-based company MChE/F4 Pharma. In the course of these severe acute clinical pictures, the smallest blood vessels, the capillaries become leaky ("vascular leak"). In the lungs - just as in the severe course of a disease caused by SARS-CoV-2 - this leads to oedemas, which makes gas exchange impossible. FX06 is intended to seal the capillaries again and minimize the damage.

Financing by the venture capital fund Wellington Partners now enables the company to enter clinical trials. Steiner: "We can make the substance available to clinics in Europe for individual healing trials. Thanks to the financing by the Munich-based venture capital fund Wellington Partners, preparations can also be made for clinical studies at the Vienna University Clinic as well as at clinics in Paris, Frankfurt and Würzburg. All of the clinics concerned are already treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients and are working together with F4-Pharma to develop the study protocol."

The support of the Austrian Federal Government for the development of therapeutic procedures and the planning and execution of clinical studies within the framework of the FFG Emergency Call for COVID-19 research will enable Austria to reach its full potential of as a research location to combat the COVID-19 crisis.

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