Laminar Pharmaceuticals, a biopharmaceutical company based at ParcBit in Palma and in Massachusetts, is preparing a clinical study to treat Covid-19. Pablo Escribá, professor of biology at the University of the Balearic Islands and founder of Laminar, says that the study could begin in a few months. It will be into molecules that inhibit fusion of the virus membrane.
He explains that a specific molecule - named LAM-AC1 - was designed some years ago. Working with a team of French biologists, it was found to achieve 99.5% inhibition of virus infectivity. "The initial objective was the treatment of infectious diseases. At that time, funds were lacking to develop the project. We now have private investors and the support of two prestigious French institutions - the National Centre for Scientific Research and the National Institute of Health and Medical Research." Spanish hospitals and foundations as well as a Hungarian analytical company are also involved.
Laminar is waiting for the Spanish Agency of Medicines to approve the protocol for the study. This is expected in a few months, and the clinical trials should demonstrate an efficacy of above 70% in patients over the age of 70 who have severe symptoms and a high risk of death. "If we achieve this level of efficacy, the drug could be approved for use by the end of this year or early next year."