As the world embraces the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, work is ongoing at unprecedented speed to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. In the meantime, there is an unmet need to address respiratory complications in infected patients, as reports have shown that between 67 and 85 percent of patients in the ICU develop ARDS, a potentially deadly complication of severe COVID-19.
In order to address this issue, Böhringer Ingelheim has been working on the development on BI 764198, an inhibitor of TRPC6, a receptor-operated cation channel, whose aim is to alleviate the damage to the lung and decrease the risk or severity of acute respiratory complications in patients hospitalized for COVID-19. BI 764198 has the potential for reducing such repiratory complications, hence saving lives and eventually contributing to a more stable healthcare system during COVID-19 times. BI 764198 has been shown to be well-tolerated in a previous phase 1 study in healthy adults (NCT03854552). On 28 October 2020 Böhringer Ingelheim reported the start of phase 2 clinical trial of the compound.
This therapeutic option has the potential of reducing the need for mechanical oxygen supply and the improvement of the patient recovery rate and is part of Boehringer Ingelheim’s ongoing efforts to accelerate the discovery and development of urgently needed medicines for COVID-19 patients.
“This therapy may provide the first potential treatment for COVID-19 related respiratory distress syndrome, helping to close a significant gap in the treatment regimen for COVID-19 patients. As we have understood more in recent months about the pathology of this disease, we realized that BI 764198 might have a unique potential to help the most severely affected patients […]“, said Dr. Mehdi Shahidi, Corporate Senior Vice President Medicine and Chief Medical Officer at Boehringer Ingelheim.
Trial enrollment for BI 764198 is expected to begin in October 2020 and will include approximately 40 study sites across eight countries.